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PM at COP21: “Climate Change Visible in Iceland”

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PM at COP21: “Climate Change Visible in Iceland”

Mýrdalsjökull glacier in South Iceland.

Mýrdalsjökull glacier. Photo: Geir Ólafsson.

Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson spoke at the Climate Conference in Paris yesterday, stating that the effects of climate change are visible in Iceland. “Glaciers are receding. We’ve decided to increase the monitoring of our glaciers and make the results and the glaciers accessible to visitors and the public. Iceland will be some kind of classroom in the results of climate change. Without efforts to decrease emissions, glaciers in Iceland could disappear for the most part in 100 years.”

Sigmundur expressed his worries about the warming and increasing acidity of the ocean. To halt that development, he said, the emissions of carbon dioxide must be decreased. He said Icelanders had made good progress. “We get almost all of our energy for electricity and for heating houses from renewable energy sources.”

A number of representatives from Icelandic public institutions and companies have arrived in Paris, or are on the way there. The Icelandic delegation has sent 16 members, three of them ministers. The City of Reykjavík has sent 12 representatives, and each political party in parliament is sending one representative, or a total of six. The National Power Company of Iceland (Landsvirkjun) is sending four delegates and President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson is also attending along with one staff member from the presidential office.

The number of representatives from various public institutions is at least 56. The total cost for their travels has not been made public.

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