chapter  6
18 Pages

The Emissions Trading Scheme

In the past two decades the EU has increasingly sought to portray itself as a global environmental leader (Wettestad 2009: 313). Environmental issues make up a large portion of its agenda and their importance has been growing in recent years. As environmental policy was part of the old pillar I and was considered an important flanking policy to the internal market, it was included within the scope of the EEA Agreement. Iceland’s participation in the EEA therefore means that it adopts nearly all the EU’s environmental acquis. EEA-relevant legislation has, for example, been passed regarding pollution, waste disposal, and evaluation of environmental impact (Umhverfisraduneytid 2008).1 In fact, this is considered one of the policy areas that has been most heavily impacted by the EU and it is estimated that as much as 70-80 per cent of Icelandic environmental legislation originates at the EU level.2 One official described the change as ‘a revolution in environmental affairs’.3