Since Iceland has already virtually eliminated the coronavirus threat within its borders, now it’s turning its attention to climate change and using COVID-19 stimulus money to do it. The country’s second coronavirus economic stimulus package, designed to alleviate the financial strain on citizens and businesses, will also include funding for projects tackling climate change.
Around $3.7 million will be dedicated to climate-focused projects, including a proposed ban on certain single-use plastics, an increase in carbon sequestration, switching to sustainable energy sources, money for land reclamation projects, creating new birch forests, and climate research.
Reforestation and wetland restoration are some of the country’s priorities. It’s viewed as a key strategy for offsetting carbon emissions, and eventually meeting the Paris Agreement target in 2030 and reaching carbon neutrality by 2040.
Iceland is very dedicated to fighting climate change with a thorough Climate Action Plan. It is also at the forefront of research on carbon sequestration; in December, a team of researchers at the Hellisheiði geothermal plant just outside Reykjavik managed to capture carbon dioxide emissions and store them in basalt rocks deep underground.