Iceland should stability development in energy and tourism industries with nature conservation, OECD says


04/09/2014 – Iceland has one of many world’s most pristine pure environments and its glaciers, volcanoes and sizzling underground springs deliver main financial advantages through renewable vitality and tourism. Continued development in energy era for aluminium smelting and in vacationer numbers have to be managed fastidiously to protect these pure belongings, an OECD report says.

The OECD’s third Environmental Performance Review of Iceland notes that the nation’s electrical energy output has greater than doubled since 2000 to just about 5 instances the quantity wanted by the inhabitants of 320,000, primarily to gas three foreign-owned aluminium smelters. The variety of vacationers drawn by Iceland’s rugged landscapes has additionally greater than doubled in the identical interval to round 700,000 guests a yr. Both tendencies put stress on the atmosphere.

“The combination of renewable energy and spectacular natural tourist attractions create opportunities for Iceland to play a pioneering role in the world’s transition to green growth,” stated OECD Environment Director Simon Upton, presenting the report in Reykjavik. “Yet these assets must be well-managed and the conflicts fully addressed between these competing uses of land.”



Renewable vitality sources account for 85% of Iceland’s whole vitality provide, way over in every other OECD nation, and protecting the entire nation’s electrical energy wants and 95% of its warmth. Any imported fossil fuels are used primarily in transport and fishing.

While hydro and geothermal energy vegetation emit nearly no greenhouse gases, they’ll put stress on native environments they usually generate wastewater and pollution which are detrimental to biodiversity and well being. The monetary return on current contracts to produce smelters with low-cost energy is probably not enough to cowl the associated environmental prices.

Tourism contributes round 6% of Iceland’s GDP, but the arrival of rising numbers of vacationers through the quick summer season season is placing a pressure on fragile ecosystems and on infrastructure comparable to wastewater remedy designed for a small inhabitants. There is a necessity to supply entry paths and different amenities at vacationer websites in a means that ensures environmental safety. In some instances that is affected by a shortfall in financing.

Iceland has taken an necessary step in the direction of addressing the trade-offs between energy manufacturing, tourism and nature conservation in adopting a Master Plan for Hydro and Geothermal Energy Resources. This supplies a transparent information on the place vitality assets can and can’t be developed.

The OECD Review recommends reinforcing the scientific and financial evaluation within the subsequent section of the Master Plan and reassessing the costs Iceland sells electrical energy for to issue within the prices of caring for the atmosphere. It suggests creating a sustainable tourism motion plan and mechanisms to make sure that vacationers contribute to financing nature preservation.

You can learn the full report and a highlights doc summarising the details is out there. For additional data or to talk to the authors, journalists ought to contact Catherine Bremer (+33 1 45 24 97 00) within the OECD’s Media Division.



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