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Iceland

Yearbook 2019

Iceland. During the year a memorial ceremony was held over Okjökull, the first Icelandic glacier to melt down due to climate change. A glaciologist issued a death certificate, Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir gave a speech and a memorial plaque with "Letter to the Future" was set up. A century ago, Okjökull ice was more than 50 meters thick and covered 15 square kilometers. At the top of the mountain northeast of Reykjavík there is now a lake of melt water, and the letter states that Iceland's hundreds of glaciers risk going the same way within 200 years.

2019 Iceland

As a sign of the warmer climate, Iceland had unusually high winter temperatures. In eastern Iceland, 18.9 plus degrees were measured in January, twice as much as Iceland's average temperature in May.

Iceland has the least forest in Europe after the devastation of history, and increased reforestation yielded about 4 million new trees during the year. Tree planting is an important part of Iceland's climate policy.

At the beginning of the year came a report on the impact of whaling on the economy, prepared by the University of Iceland on the government's mission. There, environmental organizations were designated as terrorist groups and the government proposed to consider using terrorist laws against them. The report caused a scream among environmental groups, which demanded that it be withdrawn.

In March, the Minister of Justice, since the European Court of Justice, rejected her appointments of judges to the newly established Appellate Court Landsrecht (equivalent to the High Court). The minister had rejected several meritorious candidates, and according to the European Court of Justice, a prosecuted man had not received a fair trial. The judiciary thus ended up in uncertainty about other judgments handed down in Landsrettur.

In March, Iceland became one of the first countries to enter into agreements with the United Kingdom that regulate trade following the UK exit from the EU. Among other things, the duty of duty on Icelandic fish exports consists.

According to CountryAAH, the City Council in Reykjavík decided that half of the city's gas stations should be gone by 2025. Electric cars are becoming more common and the manufacturers are switching to increased sales of other than gasoline. By 2030, half of all cars in Iceland are expected to be electric.

Iceland's economy slowed down during the year, mainly due to poor fishing and problems for aviation and tourism, including bankruptcy for the low-cost company Wow Air.

At the same time, the country's defense budget increased by 37% to the equivalent of approximately SEK 170 million. Iceland has no army but an armed coast guard, which is responsible for the military base at Keflavík that is regularly visited by US and other NATO troops. These have increased their presence in recent years due to growing tensions in the North Atlantic region.

For the 13th consecutive year, Iceland was ranked as the world's most peaceful country, according to the Global Peace Index from the independent think tank Institute for Economics and Peace.

For the first time in 17 years, there was no election hunting during the year, either commercially or for research. There were allowable quotas for both herring and folding, but the hunt was no longer considered profitable.

The government raised Iceland's catch rate for mackerel by close to one-third to 140,000 tonnes for the coming season. This made the EU threaten with sanctions.

When US Vice President Mike Pence was to visit Iceland in September, Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir declared that she could not meet him, as she was booked as a speaker at a Nordic trade union congress in Sweden. It was interpreted as a mark against the Trump administration. Pence offered to stay longer in Iceland and then got a meeting with the prime minister, but he was also received by protesters in Reykjavík.

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