US meeting with Icelandic President focuses on energy

Environmental issues were on the agenda at a meeting between Barbara Boxer, an American senator and Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, the President of Iceland. The senator, who is the head of the Senate’s environment committee, met the Icelandic President in his home near Reykjavik last week.

Thórunn Sveinbjarnardóttir, Iceland’s Minister of the Environment and Carol van Voorst, the US Ambassador in Iceland also went to the President’s home in Bessastadir, near Reykjavik, to discuss issues related to energy and climate change. Scientists gave presentations about changes to the world’s glaciers and about the possibility of using geothermal energy in the future.

“It was a very successful meeting with many issues on the agenda,” Grímsson said, who has met with many US politicians, businessmen and academics this year to talk about climate change and energy. “It is my firm conclusion that climate change, demand for pure energy and the technological knowledge Iceland has to offer creates opportunities for a very important and beneficial cooperation with the US in this field.”

Grímsson also reported that several bills have already been submitted in the United States pushing for further research and development of geothermal projects in America.

Grímsson said that Boxer considered energy to be the most important security issue of our time. “She said she liked […] that it is no longer necessary to have US soldiers based in Iceland and that instead we could develop a cooperation in the field of technology and the science of pure energy in the fight against climate change.”

The President added, “She told us how dependent Americans are on importing energy from other countries, which is America’s biggest security problem.”