Iceland Commits to Cutting Emissions Skip to content

Iceland Commits to Cutting Emissions

Iceland needs to cut its net emissions of greenhouse gases by 31 percent by 2020, not including emissions from heavy industry.

This is part of an accord on shared climate goals signed between Iceland and the European Union this week. The accord is part of the agreements made under the Kyoto Protocol.

Iceland’s emissions of greenhouse gases, not including those from heavy industry, were 2.78 million tonnes in 2012. That figure should fall to 1.98 million tonnes by 2020; meaning a cut of around a third, Ví reports.

The target can be reached in various ways, including some that do not involve cutting emissions. For example, it is expected that half of Iceland’s commitment will be met through the planting of trees. The other half will come from a combination of cutting emissions and likely also through the purchase of pollution permits on the European carbon exchange.

The proportion of atmospheric pollution stemming from heavy industry is the shared responsibility of Iceland and all the nations of the European Union. That sector is already party to the purchase and sale of emissions permits. The aim of the sector is to reduce emissions by 20 percent between 1990 and 2020. This part of the agreement covers 40 percent of the emissions of Iceland.

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