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Title  icelands new government sets out green priorities
Source  Other
Date  2017-12-07 PM 5:09:11 Hit  24
Iceland plans to raise carbon taxes by 50% immediately as part of a raft of new environmental measures announced by the country’s incoming government on Thursday.
The measure, outlined in an agreement between the parties of the coalition government, follows a similar commitment by the previous government in the draft budget for 2018. This noted that the country’s current carbon taxes are generally considered low in comparison to those of other Nordic countries.
The taxes apply to petrol, diesel, fuel oil and associated transport fuels. After the initial rise, these will be increased in the following years in line with the country’s climate change action plan.  
The coalition government – formed by the Left-Greens’ Katrin Jakobsdottir with the centre-right Independence Party and the populist Progressive Party – intends to take measures to develop a bioeconomy, using incentives to reduce the environmental impact of food production. Organic production, which is currently low in Iceland, will be strengthened, according to the agreement.
Despite the pessimistic views expressed by the National Audit Office and the Institute of Economic Studies earlier this year, Iceland now aims to go further than the goals of the Paris Agreement and become carbon-neutral by 2040 at the latest.
The agreement states that all the government’s major programmes will be evaluated in light of climate change objectives, and a climate change board will be set up. The coalition parties also aim to ban the use of heavy fuel oil in shipping in Iceland’s economic area and to support international agreements on marine protection.
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