From Iceland — New Data On Icelandic Greenhouse Gas Emissions Paints A Mixed Picture

New Data On Icelandic Greenhouse Gas Emissions Paints A Mixed Picture

Published July 17, 2020

Poppy Askham
Photo by
Statistics Iceland

Statistics Iceland has published new data on Icelandic greenhouse gas emissions that show a modest decline in emissions from most industries.

Graph by Statistics Iceland

As the graph above shows, all major sectors of the Icelandic economy, with the exception of construction and mining, saw a modest decrease in greenhouse gas emissions in 2019. Most notably, emissions from air transport fell to 1,556.03 kilotonnes of CO2 equivalents, the lowest volume since 2015 and the first time a decrease between years has been recorded since 2011. Emissions from marine transport also dropped between years for the first time since 2012.

The biggest culprits last year remain air transport and metal production, each producing over double the volume of greenhouse gases than the third most polluting industry, agriculture.

Screenshot Statistics Iceland – 2019 emissions

Although tourism is only the ninth biggest producer of greenhouse gasses, the volume of emissions has been increasing rapidly over recent years. The amount of greenhouses gases produced by the industry has only shown a between years decrease once in the last decade. Last year the industry emitted 99.20 kilotonnes of CO2 equivalents – the highest level of emissions on record.

Iceland recently committed to the goal of a 35% emissions cut by 2030 and is signed up to the longer term aim of carbon neutrality by 2040 under the Paris Climate Agreement. The latest figures confirm that despite positive trends, the nation has a long way to go if these targets are to be met.

Read more on Reykjavik City Council’s latest environmental policy decisions here.

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