US Senator Barbara Boxer, who heads the US Senate’s environment committee, met President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson yesterday at his residence Bessastadir, near Reykjavík, to discuss climate change and energy issues.
Iceland’s Minister of the Environment Thórunn Sveinbjarnardóttir and the US Ambassador in Iceland Carol van Voorst also attended the meeting and listened to presentations given by Icelandic scientists about, among other things, glacial changes and harnessing geothermal energy, Morgunbladid reports.
“It was a very successful meeting with many issues on the agenda,” Grímsson said, who earlier this year discussed climate change and energy with several US politicians, businessmen and academics. “It is my firm conclusion that climate change, demand for pure energy and the technological knowledge Iceland has to offer creates opportunities for a very important and beneficial cooperation with the US in this field.”
Grímsson said the first steps had already been taken towards such a cooperation. Parliamentary bills have been submitted to both the House of Representatives and the US Senate regarding support for geothermal projects and research in the US.
According to Grímsson, Boxer stated at the meeting that energy is the 21st century’s major security issue. “She said she liked […] that it is no longer necessary to have US soldiers based in Iceland and that instead we could develop a cooperation in the field of technology and the science of pure energy in the fight against climate change.”
“She told us how dependent Americans are on importing energy from other countries, which is America’s biggest security problem,” the president added.