The release of greenhouse gases increased in Iceland by 2% between 2016 and 2017 according to a new report by the The Environment Agency of Iceland, RÚV reports. Elva Rakel Jónsdóttir, a director at the agency says the results of the report are a disappointment, although not unexpected.
“This is obviously not the results we’d like to see,” Elva says. “We’d like to see these numbers lowering, everybody does. However, we are taking action that we expect to bear fruit in the coming years.”
Elva says that a big part of the increase in greenhouse emissions is the increase in tourism in Iceland and their consumption. She would like to see a change in the rate of consumption among locals and tourists.
“I’m allowing myself to be optimistic in saying that a lot will change in the coming years, especially considering the attention these matters have been getting lately,” Elva says. According to her, people are appalled at how much greenhouse gases are released as a result of their own consumption and how temporarily they use the stuff they buy. “The situation is very serious and we need to take it seriously.”
Elva says that quickest and most effective way to decrease greenhouse gas emissions would be a switch to electric cars, a project the government in Iceland could play a decisive role in making a success. “In Norway we see that their implementation of electric cars has been very fast and that there is a high correlation between government intervention and the popularity of electric cars in the market.”