SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — For about a dozen California lawmakers, spring break 2022 means swapping out their sunny, coastal districts for a research trip to Iceland.
The group of state lawmakers is studying new ways to address climate change in the economy. They are looking at how Iceland is finding ways to decarbonize the atmosphere and lower emissions in its economy.
The goal is to bring back ideas that could be used in California.
Lawmakers are not using any taxpayer dollars for the trip. The California Foundation on the Environment and the Economy organized it.
“It has become clearer and clearer the most urgent and dire threat to California, to its economy, its livability, to its people is climate change. Almost all of our trips focus almost entirely on strategies and best practices to slowing and attack the threat of climate change head-on,” said PJ Johnston, CFEE spokesman.
In Iceland, their schedule is packed with tours of renewable energy or carbon-cutting facilities and meetings with government officials. On Monday, the group visited Iceland’s orca plant. The plant sucks carbon out of the atmosphere and processes it into liquid form to then be injected deep underground.
Officials note California’s geology has the potential for similar projects.
“So, that’s one example. They get to see up close and personal exactly how something like that could work in the state of California. And when you take a country small but cutting edge like Iceland and you think about if we could take some of their great technologies and their great thinking on the matters and bring it to California where we have a much bigger society, much bigger population, significant resources, we could scale up,” Johnston said.
Aside from studying solutions to cut down carbon, the group is also learning how Iceland has successfully advanced opportunities for women.
Assemblymember Luz Rivas is leading the delegation. In a statement, she said, “Iceland is blazing a trail at the top of the world. Whether it is their pioneering solutions for climate change or their remarkable success in promoting gender equality, Iceland has critical and timely lessons to share with California leaders.”
The group of lawmakers will return to California on Saturday.