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Spain declares climate emergency

El Andevalo wind farm in Huelva, Spain. Image by Iberdrola (www.iberdrola.com)

January 23 (Renewables Now) - The Spanish government on Tuesday approved an agreement to declare a state of climate and environmental emergency, committing to adopt a comprehensive set of measures and policies to address the challenge with a view to 2050.

The climate emergency declaration outlines 30 priority measures, five of which will be adopted during the first 100 days of the recently sworn-in government led by prime minister Pedro Sanchez.

One of the cabinet’s first moves will be to send a bill on climate change to the parliament. The government said this bill would guarantee a road map to achieve net-zero emissions no later than 2050 while propelling financial, budgetary and fiscal policies that are compatible with the decarbonisation targets. The bill will seek to shape Spain’s 2050 landscape around a 100% renewable electricity system, zero-carbon commercial and passenger vehicles and a carbon-neutral agricultural system.

Along the same lines, the climate emergency declaration also wipes out any future that fossil fuels might have on the Spanish territory. The government committed to no longer grant tax benefits for energy products based on fossil fuels and will analyse those that are currently in force unless social or technological reasons justify them. It will also ban fracking and halt concessions and permits for exploration and extraction of hydrocarbons.

The new framework is supposed to touch every layer of the Spanish society as the government promised that “no one will be left behind” during the transition. The proposed changes are to be implemented at all levels of the public administration, which in action, will mean that policies on the economy, consumption, mobility, housing, international cooperation, health, education, tourism, among others, will all get a makeover to factor in climate change.

In this sense, the government said it would prepare a sustainable finance action plan, a green bond issuance programme, the circular economy strategy, the sustainable tourism strategy, law on sustainable mobility, and many others, in a bid to forge a development path that is in line with the Paris Agreement.

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Sladjana has significant experience as a Spain-focused business news reporter and is now diving deeper into the global renewable energy industry. She is the person to seek if you need information about Latin American renewables and the Spanish market.

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