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The Chancellor in Iceland

"Climate change is now visible"

A breath-taking landscape and a historic location – on the Chancellor’s first visit to Iceland she was very impressed by the ecosystem of the world’s largest volcanic island. Iceland, she said, is an example that teaches us that we must care for the natural environment - "and that we should demonstrate some humility vis à vis the natural world."

Chancellor Angela Merkel visits Thingvellir National Park with Icelandic Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir. Wide open spaces in Iceland - Chancellor Angela Merkel visits Thingvellir National Park Photo: Bundesregierung/Bergmann

It is good "to be reminded of the force and the great beauty of nature from time to time", said Chancellor Angela Merkel at a press conference with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Iceland, Katrín Jakobsdóttir.

Meeting with the heads of government of the Nordic countries

On the island of Videy just off Reykjavík, Angela Merkel met the heads of government of the Nordic states (Iceland, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden). Once a year, these five countries meet as the Nordic Council. This year, they invited Chancellor Angela Merkel to attend, and she was very happy to accept the invitation. A whole series of issues were on the agenda, including transatlantic relations and climate change. 

"Climate change is now visible," said Chancellor Angela Merkel after the meeting of the Nordic Council. The price of doing nothing will be higher than the price of taking action. "Thinking in cycles is the key to coping with global challenges."

Hot water and steam for Reykjavík

Earlier in the day the Chancellor had visited the Hellisheidi geothermal power station, where hot water and steam from drill holes are used to generate power for Reykjavík. This is where the "CarbFix" research project was developed, which the European Union has been assisting since 2011 under the Horizon2020 programme.  High pressure is used to remove CO2 from the air. It is then permanently stored 750 metres below ground in volcanic basalt stone.  

Visit to Thingvellir National Park

On Monday Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Thingvellir National Park with the Icelandic Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir. Iceland’s first democratic assembly met there over one thousand years ago. This place shows the responsibility that politicians have, she said, to ensure that people can still visit it in 1,000 years.

Aug 20, 2019