Staff of the Ministry for the Environment and Natural Resources embarked on a two-year initiative to offset carbon emissions on Friday with the planting of 1,000 new birch trees, RÚV reports. The trees were planted within a land reclamation and reforestation site near Þorlákshöfn in South Iceland and, according to the announcement on the ministry‘s website, will bear the name Þorláksskógur, or Þorlákur’s Forest.
According to the announcement, the ministry is focused on reducing its carbon emissions but the idea behind such plantings is to counterbalance emissions that cannot be avoided. Off-setting carbon emissions from the transportation sector, particularly airlines, is paramount.
Afforestation and revegetation are among the so-called Green Steps that the government is taking to make the state operate in a more environmentally friendly manner. “We all have to do what we can to reduce our carbon footprint, and the Green Steps are extremely important tools to assist us in this,” said Environmental Minister Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson. To this end, the heads of all the departments that report to the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources have so-signed an agreement to set carbon reduction targets for their agencies and work toward the goal of becoming completely carbon neutral.