The Icelandic government has just unveiled a comprehensive new plan for climate reform, intended to ensure that Iceland meets its Paris Agreement commitments by the year 2030.
The plan’s two major points of emphasis are making a complete switch to sustainable energy in the area of transportation, and increasing the prevalence and scope of the carbon dioxide (CO2) binding techniques that have been developed in Iceland over the last few years.
To those ends, four major categories of action are proposed. The first two contain propositions intended to contribute to an across-the-board substitution of fossil fuel energy with more renewable forms. The third contains proposed methods of strengthening CO2 binding techniques in soil and flora, while the fourth pertains to a varied set of plans, including waste reduction and improved waste management techniques, support for technological innovation, and increased public education.
Carbon tax for fossil fuels will see a 10% increase per year in the next two years, and registration of new fuel- and diesel-powered cars will be shut off after 2030, with only sustainably powered vehicles allowed to take to the streets after that time. The plan also calls for an increase in charging stations and facilities offering climate-friendly fuel types such as hydrogen and methane.
In addition, the plan recommends phasing out the use of heavy oil, and that ships and ferries use only carbon-free fuels the next time fleets are upgraded. The plan also calls for harbours to be fitted with sustainable energy facilities before 2025.
Throughout the conference, every speaker stressed the importance of communal responsibility in the execution of the plan.
“It’s one thing for the government to mark the course,” said Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture Kristján Þór Júlíusson, “but a key factor in Iceland reaching the goals we’ve set here will be the community working together to achieve them, and the public and the commercial sector are going to be of prime importance in that regard.”