31. mars 2020

Send Alcoa your protest
Here you can send Alcoa your protest against their involvement in the proposed aluminum smelter in Reydarfjord that will cause the destruction of the area Kárahnúkasvæðisins!

The email includes the message below plus whatever you want to add in the text field below. Please be polite.

Dear Sir,

Stop your plans to build an aluminium smelter in eastern Iceland

I have learned with regret that Alcoa is set to build an aluminium smelter in the east of Iceland, endangering a unique wilderness area.

Last March conservationists across the world welcomed Norsk Hydro’s decision to pull out of the same controversial development. It is, therefore, with sadness that I now understand Alcoa is discussing with the Icelandic Government to take over the development of the alumium smelter.

If this project goes ahead, it will involve the construction of a 700mW hydropower plant that will flood or permanently change a vast wilderness in Iceland’s central highlands region. If built, the hydro plant would severely impact one of the largest wilderness areas remaining in western Europe due to the construction of a number of dams, channels, diversions, reservoirs and roads. In total, about 1,000km2 in the central highlands north of the Vatnajökull Glacier will be directly affected although the impact area is much larger. The project would irreparably damage a rare oasis of highland vegetation, characterized by diverse plant communities (covering 600km2), and geological formations and landscapes, some of which are rare on a world scale. It would dam the glacial river Joekulsa a Bru and it would also involve the damming and diversion of the large glacial river Jökulsá in Fljótsdalur Valley and about a dozen other smaller clear water rivers. As a result of habitat destruction and drowning in murky reservoirs, many species in affected rivers, lakes and wetlands would be impoverished or disappear altogether. The largest reservoir would be 57 km2 in size with a water level fluctuation of up to 75m.
Furthermore, as you are probably aware, the project is not even supported by the Icelandic Planning Agency. On August 1 2001, the Icelandic Planning Agency made a clear ruling against the Kárahnukar hydropower facility because of its enormous environmental impact. The Icelandic National Power Company, Landsvirkjun, a partner in the scheme, submitted an appeal to Iceland’s environment minister, Siv Fridleifsdóttir, who, ignoring her own Planning Agency, granted permission to proceed with the project on December 20, 2001 provided that steps are taken to limit the amount of environmental damage.

We believe, however, that the conditions set by the minister will make little difference to the scale of destruction.

In addition, in her ruling, Ms Fridleifsdóttir failed to provide sound arguments to support her decision, and to adequately explain what environmental impacts will result from the development.

The Iceland Nature Conservation Association and three individuals have sued Ms Fridleifsdóttir for overturning the previous decision by the Planning Agency. The plaintiffs have been granted free legal costs.

In conclusion, I urge you to drop you plans for building an aluminium smelter in Iceland.
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