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.
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.