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Iceland’s minister for the environment to trash nature protection legislation

So our new minister for the environment and natural resources, Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson, has decided to revoke legislation for the protection of Iceland’s nature that was passed in parliament last spring, before his government took office.

Sigurdur-IngiThe legislation took four years to write, and was designed to offer stronger protection for Icelandic nature than had been in place hitherto. It was to take effect on 1 April next year.

It is no secret that this new administration doesn’t exactly have nature protection at the top of its priority list. The minister – who represents the Progressive Party – has openly declared his desire to dismantle the Ministry for the Environment. Their Progressives’ coalition partners, the Independence Party, is a well-known supporter of heavy industry and together they would happily hand over the majority of this country’s most beautiful natural resources for power harnessing. Indeed, the last time they were in power, they took a big step in that direction – and it was a disaster. The ramifications of that particular move are still coming to light.

The last government had a Left-Green minister in the Ministry for the Environment, and predictably she was firmly on the side of Icelandic nature. Also predictably, her decisions were highly contested by the opposition – which now is in power, and which now intends to trash the legislation that was written back then, even before it takes effect.

And unfortunately this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the destruction that this present administration is wreaking.

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  • Stuart Somerville September 25, 2013, 1:42 pm

    This is much like what is going on in Canada under our Conservative government. Environmental protection takes a back seat to, well, just about everything else. The only ones to really benefit, it seems, are oil companies. But heaven help you if you suggest anything that might “hurt the economy” here in Canada. It’s the quickest way to get yourself labelled a dangerous radical. I hope it hasn’t gotten that bad in Iceland.

  • Katharine Kroeber September 25, 2013, 7:45 pm

    Well, that’s depressing. *Both* Canada and Iceland seem determined to ape the worst aspects of the U.S. At least neither country has gone gun-crazy. Yet.

  • The Fred from the forums September 27, 2013, 12:47 am

    How does this work constitutionally?

    Can the executive branch really throw away a law they don’t like without first getting it repealed by the parliament?

  • rod September 28, 2013, 11:12 pm

    I find this totally depressing.
    What will these people not sell?
    And to Canada we can now safely add Australia.