The Church Council of Iceland’s National Church has approved an extensive environmental action plan proposed at a synod (clergy conference) earlier this year, Vísir reports. The plan includes forestry and wetland restoration as well as installation of electric vehicle charging stations on church lands. Clergy also seconded the Icelandic Environmental Association’s call for the government to declare a climate emergency.
The Church Council will now organise an evaluation of which land in its ownership is suitable for large-scale forestry and wetland restoration. These carbon-binding projects are a step toward carbon-neutralising emission from transportation related to church work within the next three years. The Council also agreed to install charging stations for electric vehicles at four locations this year: two in Reykjavík; one in Skálholt, South Iceland; and one in Hólar, North Iceland. Parishes will be encouraged to install charging stations, and others will be installed at vicarages according to demand.
Clergy are also urging airline companies and tour operators that sell flights to and from Iceland to include an option for carbon offsetting trips in the ticket-buying procedure.