Green by Iceland
A volcanic crater in North Iceland with a lake and mountains in the background. Peaceful nature in Iceland.

Myvatn, North Iceland. Photo by Ragnar Th Sigurdsson.


Iceland has a goal: Carbon-neutrality by 2040. 

To create a sustainable future and achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, we must limit global warming relative to pre-industrial levels. This is a global undertaking with global consequences where we must work together across borders. Iceland plans to lead by example and has set the ambitious goal of carbon-neutrality by 2040.

Iceland undoubtedly has an advantage. It has already phased out fossil fuels in both electricity production and house-heating, proving that a transition to renewable energy is feasible. The population has experienced first-hand the benefits of more affordable domestically sourced energy, cleaner air, and better living standards. Iceland is now ready to embark on the next steps towards a carbon-neutral society.

The effects of climate change can be seen and experienced around Iceland. The sight is perhaps most staggering when viewing receding glaciers today in contrast to their historical expanse in photographs. Some glaciers have already lost their status and are merely dead ice now. Acidification of the oceans is also of personal and financial importance to Icelanders. The country depends on—and takes great pride in— managing of its thriving fisheries sector to maintain the valuable exports.

Iceland certainly faces challenges to become carbon neutral by 2040. These include transitioning to a carbon-free transportation system, implementing more efficient waste-management practices, scaling up sustainable agricultural practices, and boosting local carbon removal efforts. Progress on these fronts will create a genuinely sustainable, climate-friendly, and circular economy in Iceland.

Iceland has put forward an ambitious climate action plan in order to meet the requirements of the Paris Agreement that will result in carbon neutrality by 2040.

Iceland's National Plan

Our vision for a carbon-neutral future in 2040

A progressive, carbon-conscious society in Iceland by 2040.

A visitor to Iceland in 2040 will experience a truly sustainable way of life. First off, no fossil fuels will be part of your journey once you set foot on Icelandic soil. Iceland has relied exclusively on renewable energy for electricity production and district heating for decades, and the next energy-transition will be in the transportation sector. Continuous strides will build on Iceland’s expertise when meeting the challenge of going carbon neutral.

Icelandic industry runs on renewable energy in 2020; this will still be true in 2040.

All domestic transport in Iceland will run on locally produced alternative fuels.

The fishing sector will be powered by alternative fuels and meet its goal of a 100% yield.

Consumers will have full traceability of their meal, a carbon cost label, and carbon offset information directly from food suppliers, both in shops and restaurants.

Trees & Wetlands
By planting more trees and preserving wetlands, Iceland will provide more sanctuary for migrating and local bird species while reducing land-use carbon emissions and ensuring biodiversity.

Global companies will look to Iceland as the perfect test market to make use of local resources such as geothermal energy, clean water, and clean electricity. The Carbfix project will be significantly scaled up to decrease emissions from heavy industry worldwide.

Carbon neutrality in Iceland