Nov 27 2007

Will Iceland Get Another Exemption Under the Kyoto?

Iceland Review

Minister of the Environment Thórunn Sveinbjarnardóttir says that every nation needs to be responsible after the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012 and that special needs will not be relevant.

According to her, Iceland should not apply for further exemptions.

Post-Kyoto negotiations will take place at the 2007 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali, Indonesia, between December 3 and 14.

When the Kyoto Protocol was agreed upon, Iceland was given a special exemption to increase greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by ten percent while most other nations were obligated to reduce their average emissions by 5.2 percent, Morgunbladid reports.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde proposed in the Althingi parliament that Iceland should apply for further exemptions from reducing GHG emissions after the Kyoto Protocol expires.

“In a coalition between two parties a compromise needs to be reached,” Sveinbjarnardóttir said in an interview with Morgunbladid. “But I do not worry because as soon as people look into this matter in detail and see what is at stake for life on this earth, they are bound to realize that private interests of single states are irrelevant.”

Sveinbjarnardóttir is a Social Democrat; Haarde leads the Independence Party.

The minister said Iceland has a responsibility as one of the richest countries in the world to be a good role model in environment issues and pressure other countries like the US to reduce their GHG emissions.

“If countries like the US, Australia, India and China will reach an agreement, Bali will prove a great success,” Sveinbjarnardóttir concluded.