2.8 C
Reykjavik
Thursday, February 2, 2023

Iceland votes with climate change in mind

Must read

Icelanders are voting in a general election dominated by climate change, with an unprecedented number of political parties likely to win parliamentary seats. Polls suggest there won’t be an outright winner, triggering complex negotiations to build a coalition government. A record nine parties could cross the five per cent threshold needed to qualify for seats in Iceland’s parliament, the Althing. Upstart parties include the Socialist Party, which is promising to shorten the work week and nationalise Iceland’s fishing industry. High turnout is expected on Saturday, as one-fifth of eligible voters have already cast absentee ballots. Climate change is high among voters’ concerns in Iceland, a glacier-studded volcanic island nation of about 350,000 people in the North Atlantic. An exceptionally warm summer by Icelandic standards – 59 days of temperatures above 20 degrees Celsius – and shrinking glaciers have helped drive global warming up the political agenda. Polls show strong support for left-leaning parties promising to cut carbon emissions by more than Iceland is already committed to under the Paris climate agreement. The country has pledged to become carbon neutral by 2040, a decade ahead of most other European nations. The current government is a coalition of three parties spanning the political spectrum from left to centre-right and led by Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir of the Left Green Party. It was formed in 2017 after years of political instability. Jakobsdottir remains a popular prime minister, but polls suggest her party could fare poorly, ending the ongoing coalition. “The country is facing big decisions as we turn from the pandemic,” Jakobsdottir said during a televised debate on Friday night in which party leaders vowed to end Iceland’s reliance on oil and many wanted to raise taxes on the rich. Australian Associated Press

/images/transform/v1/crop/frm/silverstone-feed-data/eab7d192-f522-4e70-8371-a021a0a9f320.jpg/r0_74_800_526_w1200_h678_fmax.jpg

Icelanders are voting in a general election dominated by climate change, with an unprecedented number of political parties likely to win parliamentary seats.

Polls suggest there won’t be an outright winner, triggering complex negotiations to build a coalition government.

A record nine parties could cross the five per cent threshold needed to qualify for seats in Iceland’s parliament, the Althing. Upstart parties include the Socialist Party, which is promising to shorten the work week and nationalise Iceland’s fishing industry.

High turnout is expected on Saturday, as one-fifth of eligible voters have already cast absentee ballots.

Climate change is high among voters’ concerns in Iceland, a glacier-studded volcanic island nation of about 350,000 people in the North Atlantic.

An exceptionally warm summer by Icelandic standards – 59 days of temperatures above 20 degrees Celsius – and shrinking glaciers have helped drive global warming up the political agenda.

Polls show strong support for left-leaning parties promising to cut carbon emissions by more than Iceland is already committed to under the Paris climate agreement. The country has pledged to become carbon neutral by 2040, a decade ahead of most other European nations.

The current government is a coalition of three parties spanning the political spectrum from left to centre-right and led by Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir of the Left Green Party. It was formed in 2017 after years of political instability.

Jakobsdottir remains a popular prime minister, but polls suggest her party could fare poorly, ending the ongoing coalition.

“The country is facing big decisions as we turn from the pandemic,” Jakobsdottir said during a televised debate on Friday night in which party leaders vowed to end Iceland’s reliance on oil and many wanted to raise taxes on the rich.

Australian Associated Press

- Advertisement -spot_img

Latest article