Publication: Thursday, May 13, 2021 5:27 PM
The Congress of Deputies approved the first law on climate change and energy transition in Spain without the support of the Popular Party, Vox and More Country, which it considers short. The new law, which will come into force the day after its publication in the State’s Official Gazette, sets out the roadmap to end the sale of polluting cars by 2040, reduce polluting gas emissions and achieve a total decarbonization.
The fourth vice-president and minister of the ecological transition and the demographic challenge, Teresa Ribera, indicated during her speech in the lower house that it is “a law which the country needed and indispensable”. “We face complex challenges at a difficult time for our society and, however, it is at this very moment when the urgency to transform our development model and our way of life is clearly manifested by integrating the criteria of sustainability and of resilience, ”says Ribera.
The new climate law will help Spain to meet its international commitments in the fight against climate change and achieve climate neutrality by 2050. In addition, it will promote an electricity system with at least 74% of production renewable, compared to 40% currently.
The rule begins with two key dates for its development: one, 2030, when Spain will have to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 23% compared to 1990 (three points more than the text that the government has sent to Congress almost a year ago), and another, 2050, the year of climate neutrality.
Here are some of the more remarkable steps taken in the development of this law as a fundamental framework on which to weave policies and strategies for sustainability, mitigation and adaptation to climate change:
– Cars and light commercial vehicles, not intended for commercial use, will gradually reduce their emissions, so that from 2040 cars emitting carbon dioxide can no longer be sold and from 2050 they cannot be sold. more circulate; It also establishes obligations for charging points in service stations and in buildings.
– The ban on drilling and prospecting for fossil fuels – on land and at sea – and permits for the exploitation of materials with radioactive properties will not be granted; Hydrocarbon development activities will also not be permitted when the use of “fracking” is planned.
– The text maintains the obligation to create low-emission zones in cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants by 2030, in order to reduce atmospheric pollution and CO2 emissions and to promote electric mobility and public transport.
– The law envisages taking into account climate change in the management of the land maritime public domain and establishes that the titles of occupation will be calculated from their granting and will include all their extensions, without going beyond the terms established in the coastal law, for a maximum occupancy period of 75 years.
– Promotes the energy rehabilitation of buildings, monitors the impacts of climate change on public health and the achievement of a sustainable diet and gives priority to forests as carbon sinks; In addition, the deployment of renewable energies must be compatible with the conservation of the natural heritage and with the fight against demographic degradation.
– In the financial sector, large companies, financial entities and insurance companies must prepare annual reports on the risks that the transition to a sustainable economy generates for their activity, as well as on the measures to face them.
– In terms of governance, the creation of a committee of scientific experts on the climate and energy transition is envisaged as a body responsible for evaluating and formulating recommendations on these two subjects.
– The law includes the convening of a citizens’ assembly with the aim of involving society in the ecological transition, as well as the government’s obligation to review sustainability and climate change in the teaching of the education system.
– Regarding adaptation policies, the Government undertakes to approve a national climate change adaptation plan every five years which includes the assessment of impacts and risks for different possible scenarios.
– The text also raises key future commitments such as a law on sustainable mobility, a review of the energy system and a strengthening of the railway as a means of transport to reduce emissions.