Iceland to help East African nations explore geothermal energyListen /
Iceland is pioneering a programme that will bring clean renewable energy to millions of people in Africa, the country's Foreign Affairs Minister told the UN General Assembly on Saturday.
Össur Skarphéðinsson said the Nordic nation will work with the World Bank to assist 13 countries in East Africa to harness their geothermal energy resources.
He said small countries can be global pioneers.
"It may sound as a paradox but when we in Iceland put our expertise in geothermal energy to use in East Africa we are at the same time protecting the environment of our very neighbourhood, the Arctic. As you all know, the ice of the Arctic is melting at a pace far greater than ever anticipated." (Duration: 23″)
The Foreign Minister also addressed the expected opening of parts of the Arctic for new transport routes or for oil and gas production.
While this may bring commercial benefits, he warned of dangers to the fragile Arctic ecosystem and the traditional way of life of the region's people.