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Icelandic emissions are mostly from transport


The countries of the Nordic region (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden) have much lower Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions per capita than some other Western countries. However, the Nordic countries have higher GHG-emissions than many other industrialized countries in Europe.

One of the main reason behind somewhat high emissions in the Northern countries, is the extensive energy-intensive industry in some of them. Finland and Sweden have a large  paper- and pulp industry, and Norway and Iceland have extensive aluminum industry (resulting from historical low power cost, from utilization of hydropower).

In Iceland, emissions from generation of electricity and from heating are very low owing to the exclusive use of renewable energy sources (geothermal and hydropower). Still, Iceland’s per capita GHG-emissions are the highest in the Nordic region.

Almost 80 per cent of the GHG-emissions stem from transport and fishing vessels. Process emissions from aluminium production plants have the most significant impact on emissions after transport.

Nordic-Fossil-Fuel-Intensity-2011Fossil-fuel intensity is another interesting measurement. It tells us how much fossil-fuel energy it takes to create one unit of GDP. In this measure, China and the US are relatively fossil fuel intensive. The Nordic countries are well ahead of many other economies in their fossil fuel efficiency due to their high utilization of renewable energy. Iceland has a significantly lower fossil-fuel intensity than energy intensity, reflecting its abundant renewable energy sources, utilized both for electricity generation and heating.