From Iceland — Iceland Importing Record Amount of Oil, Threatening Emissions Targets

Iceland Importing Record Amount of Oil, Threatening Emissions Targets

Published March 14, 2023

Photo by
Flickr – Álfheiður Magnúsdóttir

Iceland’s growing economy is causing a record breaking increase in fossil fuel imports, moving the country further away from its targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, RÚV reports.

The Federation of Icelandic Industries (SI) predicts that oil imports will reach a new record this year and that even more will be imported next year — a worrying trend considering Iceland’s target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 55% by 2030 from 2005 levels. Based on 2020 greenhouse gas emissions, the country is 1.3 million tonnes short of achieving this target.

SI director Sigurður Hannesson points out that increased economic activity inevitably leads to an increase in energy consumption, either in the form of electricity for industry or oil consumption for tourism and fishing. With the number of passengers arriving through Keflavík International Airport expected to continue to rise, oil consumption is likely to rise in parallel.

In addition to economic activities that consume a lot of energy, a number Icelandic industries also struggle to get sufficient electricity, so oil is burned. This practice contributes to the country’s growing oil consumption.

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