The Icelandic government has launched its new Climate Strategy today aiming for the country to be carbon neutral before 2040. The plan includes 34 measures ranging from a ban on new sales of ICEs by 2030 and the decarbonisation of transport to carbon-curbing measures such as reforestation.
Overall, the Climate Strategy is designed to help Iceland meet its Paris Agreement targets for 2030. Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir stressed the importance of reaching these goals at the press conference, saying it is the “most important issue” and also confirmed plans for a carbon neutral Iceland by 2040.
The 36 measures outlined in the strategy are divided into two main sections. One focus is on phasing out fossils fuels in transport, while other measures aim to increase carbon sequestration in land use.
More concretely, Iceland is ready to increase government support for charging stations and other infrastructure for electric transport and other clean fuels. The same goes for existing subsidies for electric cars and other clean vehicles. So far, the policy has been working. There are about 6,000 electric cars on Iceland today, compared to only 90 in 2014 reportedly.
Moreover, in the case of Iceland, electric vehicles are an even better solution than usual because the country already covers most of its heat and power demand from renewable sources such as geothermal and hydro energy. Naturally, running transport on renewables is part of the new climate plan, as is further funding for low carbon technologies.
While the government stands behind the proposal, the draft will now be subject to public consultation. An updated strategy will be published in 2019, taking into account comments and suggestions by civil society.