From Iceland — Iceland To Work With EU On Emissions Targets

Iceland To Work With EU On Emissions Targets

Published September 2, 2021

Desirai Thompson
Photo by
John Pearson

Iceland is working in collaboration with the European Union and Noway to reduce emissions in line with the goals set out in the Paris Agreement. Calculations of Iceland’s share of responsibility in lowering these emissions are beginning this month, reports Vísir.

Calculating goals

The stated common goal is a 40% reduction in emissions compared to levels from the year 1990. Currently Iceland hovers at a 29% reduction in emissions. The Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources is preparing to work with the EU on the new goal.

The European Union is ramping up its emissions targets, now projecting a 55% fall in common emissions by the end of the decade. The ultimate goal is to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.

Iceland is not going into negotiations with EU regarding its emissions share–that is determined by a pre-determined methodology, Vísir points out. They are primarily ensuring that the data used to make those calculations is correct.

Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir said in December that Iceland’s share could possibly end up in the 40-45% range. Special emissions goals will be set for power-intensive industries as well as forestry and land-use industries.

A heating planet

Greenhouse gas emissions form drained bogs are among the largest contributors to Iceland’s overall emissions. For this reason, wetland restoration has been highlighted in recent years.

Global greenhouse gas emissions have already caused a universal warming of about 1°C since before the Industrial Revolution. Last month’s dire report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stated that even if emissions are drastically reduced, it may be too late to maintain a warming of 1.5°C over the next decade.

Across the world, this warming is associated with an increase in the occurrence and severity of extreme weather events including violent hurricanes and snow storms, wildfires, drought, flooding and heat waves.

When exacerbated these factors have innumerable impacts on physical and mental health, security and overall wellbeing by perpetuating destabilising circumstances such as famine, disease, displacement, economic instability and civil unrest.

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