On Wednesday, May 18th, Harpa concert hall and conference center hosted Ok, Bye Climate Summit. The event took place within Icelandic Innovation Week.
The climate summit gathered Icelandic and international entrepreneurs, climate and cleantech investors and authorities, among them: Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson, Iceland’s Minister of the Environment, Energy and Climate; Sarah Sclarsic, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Voyager; David Helgason, entrepreneur and climate investor; Edda Sif Pind Aradóttir, CEO at Carbfix, and others.
A new initiative, Transition Labs, was presented at the summit by David Helgason. The initiative aims to bring together the highest impact climate projects to try to deploy and scale them in Iceland.
During the panel discussion “How do you take a country to net zero and beyond? Policy to accelerate transition”, Tinna Hallgrímsdóttir, Chairperson of the Icelandic Youth Environmental Association said: “I think that we’re now at a point where we all acknowledge that climate change is by far the biggest threat we’re facing. We’re at a point in which average annual global greenhouse gas emissions are at their highest levels in human history. We’re basically at crossroads to secure the livelihoods of future generations,” adding, “We need to acknowledge that we need a complete shift because we see that what we’ve been doing now is not delivering the results we need.”
The conference speakers were unanimous that many companies, brands and countries realize that swifter change is needed, but the main obstacle right now is the financial component. “We need to build 10x faster and 1000x bigger,” finished up Sarah Sclarsic, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Voyager, referring to existing climate solutions.
The summit’s name ‘Ok, bye’ goes back to Ok, the glacier Iceland lost due to climate change. More information can be found here.
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