An ambitious project to create a carbon-neutralising forest in Iceland has been left stranded, as no company has wanted to fund the project since the bank collapse of 2008.
RÚV reports that the forest – located in Geitarsandi in south Iceland – comprises some 350,000 plants, covering 150 hectares, with planting beginning in 2007. There is enough room for another 40 hectares to be filled, but nothing has been planted in the spot since 2009.
The idea behind carbon neutrality is that a company or individual can theoretically offset the carbon they release into the atmosphere by having trees planted that absorb the same amount of carbon. Forest expert Einar Gunnarsson explained how the project fell apart.
“It started off pretty well, but shortly after the project began, there were signs and then the crash came. You could say that the bank collapse led to the collapse of this forest.”
The government, Reykjavík Energy and Kaupthing were the largest initial clients of the project. The brightest hope, Einar says, was to have been able to get individual people to pay for the planting of trees to offset their family cars or plane trips. Despite the stall, Einar remains hopeful that the project will gather attention – and funding – once again.