Minister for the Environment Svandís Svavarsdóttir, speaking before parliament today, said that she would not apply for further Kyoto allowances for heavy industry in Iceland, saying in part that Iceland “should not become a paradise for the release of pollution.” She added that defense of the environment should not blend itself in matters of paying down the debt of the nature by making its resources for sale.
Speaking at Hótel Nordica this morning, Svavarsdóttir refered to an upcoming UN climate change conference, to be held in Copenhagen. According to Vísir, she told attendees that she believes that all participants come to the table with substantial ideas instead of demands, and that is why she would decline to apply for the pollution quota.
Vigdís Hauksdóttir, an MP for the Progressive Party, objected to the minister’s decision, saying that dismissing the pollution quota could cost Iceland some 15 billion crowns – about 120 million USD – in lost revenue from heavy industry. The Progressives have been tireless advocates of heavy industry as a primary solution to Iceland’s economy, even before the collapse of the banks.