During the World Ocean Summit held in Mexico last weekend, President of Iceland Guðni Th. Jóhannesson said it’s time for Icelanders to stop joking about global warming. Instead, he said, Icelanders need to start taking into account the serious consequences we’ll face in the future if we don’t act fast, Vísir reports.
The event, which was organised by The Economist, was intended as a chance for political leaders, heads of international organisations, companies and specialists to discuss the future of our oceans.
“Global change is affecting all our countries, but the impact it has on the Nordic countries is particularly clear,” Guðni said during the summit. “The ice caps around the North Pole are melting and our oceans are heating up fast.” In particular, Guðni drew attention to the fact that the increasing temperature of the oceans is detrimental to biodiversity and fish stocks, as it often triggers acidification of sea water.
It’s not funny anymore
While Guðni admitted that warmer waters around Iceland could attract more mackerel, he also insisted that it might force cod to move further north. It is therefore important that world countries take into consideration all consequences of global warming in order to adjust more easily, for instance when it comes to fishing deals with neighbouring countries.
“In Iceland people often joke about it being so cold and windy here that a little global warming would be very much appreciated,” Guðni said during his speech. “But the situation is not funny anymore.”
As we reported last June, local authorities are concerned about the levels of pollution in Iceland, as in 2015 carbon emissions per Icelander were 10.2 tonnes, compared to 5.8 per EU citizen, implying that Iceland is far off meeting the goals set by the 2016 Paris Agreement.