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Greenhouse Gas Emissions Increase

Greenhouse gas emissions in Iceland increased by almost 10 percent between the years 2007 and 2008, reports. The most significant cause of the increase was Reydarfjördur fjord’s Fjardarál aluminum plant. This is stated in a new report from The Environment Agency of Iceland, compiled in concordance with the UN Kyoto Protocol.

Power Plant. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

In 2008, the equivalent of 4,8 million tons of carbon dioxide was released – an amount which increased by 8 percent from the previous year. The principal cause for this was the Fjardarál aluminum plant, which began operations in 2007 and reached full production capacity the following year. According to the Kyoto Protocol, Iceland has committed itself to remaining within certain boundaries regarding greenhouse gas emissions.

The Environment Agency predicts that Iceland will be able to honor its commitments, but says that the wiggle room is not great, despite the so-called “Icelandic clause” which authorizes keeping greenhouse gas emissions from a new large-scale industry plant separate from the commitments.

Just under half of the amount of greenhouse gases released in Iceland in 2008 originated from industry and chemical use, or 47 percent. A total of 20 percent was caused by transportation, 12 percent was caused by agriculture and the same amount from fisheries; 4 percent came from waste, and 5 percent from electricity and heat generation.

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