Climate Change

Illustration of a house shaped like a flowerpot with a woman watering plants on the roof

The City of Reykjavik’s goal is to become carbon neutral before the year 2040, and that the adaptation to climate change will take place in an environmentally sound and human-friendly manner. Reykjavik City supports the goal of the Paris Agreement to maintain global warming within 1.5 degrees Celsius. Actions will be revised in 2025 and then every 5 years after that in accordance with the Paris Agreement of 2015. Success will be measured at least annually.

Nearly 300,000 Tonnes by 2030

The City of Reykjavik aims for carbon neutrality by 2040. The main challenge in reaching this limit is that emissions must be reduced rapidly. The 2021–2025 Action Plan reflects the broad approach and width of projects that is needed in order to achieve a carbon-neutral society.

The Action Plan includes a series of major and minor actions that came about after extensive consultations and are reduced to fifteen main actions aimed at reducing carbon emissions by nearly 300,000 tonnes by 2030.

Six Priorities

The Action Plan comprises six priorities that the City considers most important for achieving its carbon neutrality objectives. These are:

  • Walkable city
  • Energy exchange
  • Health enhancing commutes
  • Circular thinking
  • Green structures
  • Carbon Sequestration

In addition to these six priorities, there are other related important and supportive factors. They are:

  • Adaptation to climate change
  • Awakening and innovation
  • Operations of the City of Reykjavik

Climate Policy

City of Reykjavik Climate Action Plan for 2021-2025

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Decade of Action

The decade of action is upon us, and we have no time to lose in winding down man-made climate change and prevent the disasters that it will cause.

The City of Reykjavik Climate Policy guides the work for the next five years laying down the goal for greenhouse gas reductions by 2030.

The Climate Policy supports the Reykjavik City Green Plan for a carbon-neutral city and green investments for the next 10 years. Now that the Policy has been approved, work will be undertaken to quantify, cost estimate and schedule all the actions. This involves assessing what each action will deliver in terms of CO2 equivalents, what it will cost and when it will be achieved.

The objective with the actions is for the City of Reykjavik to contribute to supporting the goal of the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Listening to Residents and Stakeholders

The Climate Policy was prepared with the participation of residents and stakeholders. At the beginning of the preparation, proposals for action could be submitted and workshops were held.

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International Commitments

The City of Reykjavik has participated in the Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy since 2011. Parties to the Covenant of Mayors were invited to participate in the Climate Change Adaptation Partnership in 2014, and the City of Reykjavik decided to participate.

Reykjavik also participates in the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), where information on carbon use is made available to all.

Reykjavik also cooperates with the Nordic capitals on a joint declaration on climate change.

Climate & Individuals

Individuals can contribute by revising their transport habits and reducing fossil fuel use. We can also reduce waste generation, and recycle, as much as possible.

Climate Recognition

Reykjavik and Festa, the Center for Corporate Social Responsibility, partnered in 2016 to achieve measurable results in climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and waste generation.

Prioritizing Green Economic Growth

Over the past few years, Reykjavik has targeted environmental progress in the city, introduced ecological operations and focused on green investments that have improved the residents’ environment and quality of life.

Two examples are the Reykjavik Biking Plan and the 2010–2030 Reykjavik Municipal Plan, which calls for the conservation of green and open spaces, urban compaction, improved public transport, eco-friendly waste disposal solutions and requirements for eco-friendly solutions for new construction.

Green investments are expected to account for about 24% of the City's total investments over the next 5 years. Green investments include investing in open spaces, maintaining pedestrian paths and improving priority bus routes, renovating garbage containers and more.

Climate Statistics