Partnerships central for innovation

Cooperation with the business community in finding sustainable solution. Reykjavik, Iceland

SDG 7: Affordable and clean energySDG 9: Industry innovation and infrastructureSDG 13: Climate action

Today, all electricity in Reykjavik is produced with hydroelectric power, and households are geothermally heated; energy usage in district heating emits no greenhouse gases. The current administration with the Mayor of Reykjavik, Dagur B. Eggertsson, in the lead, has made significant progress in the field of energy and resources, and have for the last 15 years made remarkable achievements in reducing greenhouse gases.


A major challenge, globally, is to reduce carbon emissions and The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has stated that Carbon Capture and Storage, CCS, is crucial in tackling climate change in the most cost-effective way. In 2009, the Council of Reykjavík implemented a policy to reduce 35% of emissions by year 2020 and 73% by 2050, compared to emissions in 2007. 

Good practices & solutions

Cooperation with the business community has been central for Reykjavik in finding sustainable solutions to combat climate change. To illustrate this, the Mayor took initiative to get the 100 largest Icelandic companies on board for COP21. Together with the non-profit organization Icelandic Center for Corporate Social Responsibility, companies were invited to make a declaration to set concrete goals and targets commiting to reduce carbon emissions. This was submitted to the climate conference.

Outcome & opportunities

In collaboration with the energy company Reykjavik Energy and scientists from the university, a method to turn CO2 into stone and store it underground has recently been developed. In June 2016 a project called Carbfix, led by Reykjavik Energy, had a climate change breakthrough in their CCS work. The project made it possible to bury CO2 underground and turn it into stone, instead of gas, within only two years.This promises a more affordable, more secure, and more environmentally friendly way of burying CO2 emissions in other regions.

Lessons learned & recommendations

Partnership within the private sector and cooperation with the business community has been central for the city in finding sustainable solutions to combat climate change.

Related SDG targets 

7.1 By 2030, ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services.

7.A By 2030, enhance international cooperation to facilitate access to clean energy research and technology, including renewable energy, energy efficiency and advanced and cleaner fossil-fuel technology, and promote investment in energy infrastructure and clean energy technology.

9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.

13.2 Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning.

Further reading

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Project: Nordic Urban Ways