Iceland and Norway commit to climate change action

iceland and norway
© iStock/Petr Perepechenko

The governments of Iceland and Norway have agreed to extend co-operation with the EU to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Iceland and Norway have been active participants in the EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS), which enables companies to purchase or trade emissions allowances, since 2008. Along with the EU, the two countries have pledged to co-ordinate the measures they take to reduce emissions from sectors which are not covered by the ETS, including:

  • Agriculture;
  • Buildings and housing;
  • Transport; and
  • Waste management.

European Commission Vice President and High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Federica Mogherini said: “The climate crisis knows no borders. That’s why we as the European Union, along with our closest partners, will continue to lead the global work to combat it. Only by working together can we live up to our responsibilities to promote peace and stability, protect our planet, and ensure that future generations do not pay the highest price.”

Iceland and Norway will work in tandem with the EU under the European Economic Area (EEA) agreement to implement two key pieces of legislation which were approved by last week the EEA Joint Committee:

  • Effort Sharing Regulation, which will see Iceland and Norway jointly commit to setting and enforcing targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the sectors not covered by the EU Emissions Trading system between 2021 and 2030; and
  • Regulation on Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF), whereby the two states agree to ensure that any emissions produced in the course of land use, land use change and forestry processes are balanced by commensurate carbon removal for the period spanning 2021 to 2030.

Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said: “I welcome today’s decision by the EEA Joint Committee. The EU, Iceland and Norway have again proven that cooperation across borders to combat climate change is not only necessary but also feasible, building on the successful cooperation for over ten years in the EU Emissions Trading System.”


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