Signing ceremony for the Paris Agreement, 22 April 2016
Statement by H.E. Sigrún Magnúsdóttir, Minister for the Environment and Natural Resources of Iceland
Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
Iceland is fully commited to implement the Paris Agreement. As many know, electricity and heating in Iceland comes almost 100% by renewables. But this is not enough. We need to cut emissions from other sources. The Icelandic government has increased resources for climate action. We have recently launched new climate projects. Actions must match words.
We are supporting infrastructure for electric cars. Emissions from fisheries have going down and we hope to continue this trend. We are working industry and others on a road map to greener shipping and fisheries.
I also signed an agreement with the Farmers Association of Iceland this week on a similar road map for agriculture.
Carbon sinks are important. We should encourage actions that soak up carbon from the atmosphere. The rules under the Paris Agreement should support this, as is done in the Kyoto Protocol. Iceland will increase efforts in afforestation and land restoration. Fighting desertification worldwide helps climate, as well as food security.
Iceland supports capacity building on clean energy and climate in developing countries. The Global Geothermal Alliance was launched in Paris. We hope that this initiative will encourage the use of geothermal energy worldwide.
The climate challenge will not be met unless we all work on solutions. Women must be empowered for decision-making and action at all stages. The Icelandic government currently has five women as Ministers, and five men. In this, we try to practice what we preach.
Equality is a goal in itself, and will also help us towards a greener and better future. The Paris Agreement will help us to focus political will and resources to fight climate change. Iceland will do its share.