Iceland Lagging Behind on Climate, Minister Suggests Skip to content
Minister Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarsson.
Photo: Golli. Minister Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarsson..

Iceland Lagging Behind on Climate, Minister Suggests

At a Climate Day conference in Reykjavík, Minister Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson stated that Iceland would need to do “even better” with regard to greenhouse-gas emissions, as Iceland is lagging behind countries to which it would like to compare favourably.

Climate change in layman’s terms

Many of Iceland’s foremost experts on climate change convened at the Harpa Music and Conference Hall in Reykjavík for Climate Day (sponsored by Iceland’s Environment Agency). Over 20 lectures were scheduled from representatives of various institutions and agencies in the hopes of discussing global warming in layman’s terms.

Among today’s speakers was Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson, Minister of the Environment, Energy and Climate, who revealed plans to make Iceland’s emissions ledger accessible to the public in one place, making monitoring the country’s climate goals easier.

As noted by RÚV, Guðlaugur Þór referred to data from Iceland’s Environment Agency, which showed that emissions for which Iceland is directly responsible totalled 2,716 tonnes in 2020 – down by 13% since 2005, the benchmark year for Iceland’s commitments. Emissions in 2020 were 5% lower than in 2019. “Improvements must be made,” Guðlaugur Þór stated.

“When you delve into the numbers, you can see that the biggest decline in emissions has been in road transportation, and it is believed that the pandemic played a big role in that regard. Iceland lags behind many countries to which we’d like to compare ourselves when it comes to climate change. This means that we need to work fast and work together to achieve better results.”

Guðlaugur also emphasised the importance of basing climate action on scientific facts and revealed that work had begun to analyse the Ministry’s projects to achieve goals put forth in the government agreement. According to the Minister, information on emissions is to be accessible to the public via a new climate dashboard.

“It’s my hope that data on the dashboard will be interconnected so that one can access a wide variety of information in an easy way. We need to publish updates regularly on how well we’re doing in meeting our goals,” Guðlaugur remarked.

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