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.
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which demanded that it be withdrawn.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.
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