Around 61% of Icelanders believe the Icelandic authorities should respond to the climate crisis with the same urgency as it reacted to the COVID-19 pandemic according to a survey carried out by Landvernd, the Icelandic Environmental Association.
Landvernd posed the statement “the Icelandic Government should take Iceland’s climate change challenges as seriously as the COVID-19 challenges,” to 799 survey participants Fréttablaðið reports – 61% agreed, 22% disagreed and 17% strongly disagreed.
The survey shed light on the differing levels of support for prioritising climate change between demographics. Women, 18-24 year olds , university graduates, Reykjavik residents and those with a monthly household income of less than 400,000 ISK were the most likely to agree with the statement.
Women expressed far stronger support for taking climate change seriously, 70% agreeing with the statement in comparison to just 62% of men.
In general, support for urgent climate action decreased with age. The youngest participating demographic, 18-24 year olds were the most likely to agree (72%) whereas 55-65 year olds were least likely (50%).
Levels of support also varied dependent on income and level of education. Just 56% of those in the highest category of household income agreed, in comparison with 70% of participants with the lowest incomes. The higher the level of education, the greater the support for climate action, those with university degrees were 23% more likely to agree than those with the lowest level of schooling.
Director of Landvernd, Auður Anna Magnúsdóttir told Fréttablaðið that the results clearly show that Icelanders recognise the urgency of the climate crisis. She believes the government should respond to the survey results by following up on its promise of 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, and carbon neutrality by 2040.
As reported, the Icelandic government is showing small signs of prioritising environmental issues to a greater degree – a bill outlining how Iceland plans to follow through on the Paris Climate Agreement was recently passed and a COVID-19 economic package included 550 million ISK for environmental projects (it’s worth noting this is around 1% of the overall package budget). But, despite tentative progress, the Landvernd board believes the country’s “climate framework must be significantly strengthened.”
Note: Due to the effect the Coronavirus is having on tourism in Iceland, it’s become increasingly difficult for the Grapevine to survive. If you enjoy our content and want to help the Grapevine’s journalists do things like eat and pay rent, please consider joining our High Five Club.
Buy subscriptions, t-shirts and more from our shop right here!