Iceland and EU Reach Agreement on Climate Issues Skip to content

Iceland and EU Reach Agreement on Climate Issues

Iceland and the European Union reached an agreement on climate issues yesterday, which will prevent a double system on greenhouse gas emissions in Iceland and ensure Iceland’s full participation in the EU’s action plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions after 2012, when the first stage of the Kyoto Protocol comes to an end.

An aerial view of Iceland’s interior. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

In a letter from June 3, 2009, addressed to the European Commission and Sweden, which holds the EU Presidency, Iceland’s Minister for the Environment Svandís Svavarsdóttir requested that the basis for such an agreement be examined, a statement on the website of the Ministry for the Environment reads.

On the basis of the EEA agreement, a large part of greenhouse gas emissions in Iceland will fall under the EU’s trade system as of January 1, 2013.

Yesterday’s agreement includes emissions from large-scale industries and it is assumed that more than 40 percent of all emissions in Iceland will be distributed within the EU’s trade system from that date onwards.

With this arrangement a special provision for Iceland on large-scale industries or other industries will not be necessary after 2012. It enables Iceland to make more ambitious goals on greenhouse gas emissions than the Icelandic government has made until now.

In a cabinet meeting on Friday last week, the environment minister was given permission to support the EU’s goal of up to 30 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions at the ongoing Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.

Click here to read more about the conference.

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