Reykjavik has a goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2040. If the goals of the Paris Agreement are to be achieved, emissions in Reykjavik must be halved by 2030 and then halved again in the following decade. Carbon capture also must be realised. Transport is the main source of greenhouse gas emissions in Reykjavik, and to change modes of transport remains the greatest challenge.
In December 2020 Reykjavik Green Deal was issued as a roadmap to economic recovery after COVID-19. The Green Deal focuses on all three dimensions of sustainability: economic, environmental, and social. Investment in green infrastructure and social development where no one is left behind is central to the plans. The City’s Climate Action Plan has furthermore been updated facilitating complete energy exchange; increasing health-promoting modes of transport; eco-friendly city planning; introducing a circular economy; using low-carbon building materials and design; and effective carbon capture. Reykjavik will achieve these goals in a spirit of collaboration and co-creation, working closely with citizens and other regional and national stakeholders.
The SPARCS projects in Reykjavík will be implemented city wide.
Urban planning and land use
Reykjavik Green Deal calls for urban densification which also produces opportunities for a more efficient public transport system. The city is working on several green development sites and nature based climate solutions.
Geothermal central heating is used in every house and all electricity production is 100% renewable, based on geothermal energy as well as hydropower.
Low-carbon energy production
Hydropower and geothermal energy are the sources of energy in Iceland. The company Carbfix, part of Reykjavik Energy Group (OR), is furthermore providing a natural and permanent storage solution by turning CO2 into stone underground in less than two years.
Reykjavik introduced the 15 min neighbourhood back in 2014 that is still actual. The city has a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan and is investing significantly in green mobility infrastructure including several multi modal mobility hubs.
To reduce CO2 emissions the city is working on changing the modal split and people’s behaviour by creating a robust transport system. This includes infrastructure for electric cars and a new bus rapid transit system that will lead to major improvements in the capacity and efficiency of the city’s public transport system.
Developing very energy efficient districts
Reykjavík Energy is working on test projects in 2021-2024 finding optimal solutions for lowering peak load for the electricity distribution system either with technical solutions or by changing the charging habits of EV owners.
Reykjavík offers various options to enhance public participation in deliberative democracy and democratic decision making. Projects such as Better Reykjavík and My District connect the municipality to citizens who are empowered to participate in policy development and decision making.
Reykjavik is a small and highly integrated society with consumers who are quick to adapt to new technologies. Iceland has a world-class IT infrastructure and possesses the world’s highest IDI performance according to the ICT Development Index.
Reykjavik is a progressive city that emphasizes social innovation in its policies, including new policies on democracy, employment and innovation, a service policy focused on digital transformation, ambitious education policy and many other socially innovative programmes.
The City of Reykjavík plans to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2040 by reversing urban sprawl and promoting walking, cycling and public transport
- Replace fossil fuels, that today are only used by the transport sector, with electrification and sustainable fuels;
- 100% of municipal vehicles free of greenhouse gas emissions by 2025;
- Emissions from road transportation to be cut by 35% from 2005 to 2030 and carbon-neutral before 2040;
- Share of car traffic 58%, public transport 12% and walking and cycling 30% by 2030.
- Increasing ratio of EV’s ownership in Reykjavík vs. fossil fuel.
- No fossil fuel cars registered after 2030.
- 90 % of residents enjoy basic service proximity by 2025.
- 50% percentage of trips to work are with other means of transport than private car by 2040.
- Co2 emission from waste close to 0 by 2025.