National government of Spain endorses the Under2 Coalition

Reading time: 5 minutes
6 March 2019

THE BASQUE COUNTRY, SPAIN: Spain has become the latest national government to endorse the Under2 Coalition last week, demonstrating its support for the largest group of ambitious states and regions committed to reducing their emissions to tackle climate change.  

As a national endorser, Spain officially recognizes and welcomes the role being played by states and regions in cutting emissions. The national government will support the Secretariat team at The Climate Group to recruit more Spanish regions to the coalition. 

National endorsers of the Under2 Coalition are committed to reducing emissions to keep global temperature rise to well below 2°C.

Other European national endorsers of the Under2 Coalition include Portugal, who endorsed the coalition last year, alongside the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the UK.

Another national endorser of the Under2 Coalition, Costa Rica, recently launched its plan to make the nation one of the first in the world to completely decarbonize.

Teresa Ribera, Minister for the Ecological Transition of Spain, said: 

“Cooperative action is now more important than ever. We need successful partnerships that mutually reinforce combination between state and non-state actions, if we are to reach our well below 2 degrees goal. The Under2Coalition provides a forward looking space to come together, be innovative and look for pathways and instruments that will enable us to reach our climate objectives, while maximizing the enormous opportunities ahead.

The Spanish government has put forward an ambitious climate and energy framework that will decarbonize our economy by 2050, a great opportunity to make our country a more prosperous, sustainable and safe place, while ensuring this transition leaves no one behind. 2019 is the year for greater climate ambition and Spain comes ready to work, at all levels, and work together with the Under2Coalition partners to reinforce our efforts and push for higher global ambition.”

Climate action in Spain

Spain, Europe’s fifth largest economy, is committed to climate action and is set to decarbonize its economy by 2050.

The Spanish government has recently presented a comprehensive Strategic Framework on Energy and Climate that includes a Climate Change and Energy Transition Law, the ‘National Integrated Climate and Energy Plan 2021-2030’, which was submitted to the European Commission last month and a Just Transition Strategy.

Altogether, the Framework sets the path, with concrete measures, to decarbonize the Spanish economy in a sustainable, cost efficient, and equitable manner, with the ultimate objective of complying with the Paris Agreement against global warming.

With the Framework, the Spanish government is decarbonizing across its entire economy by 2050 with measures that foresee that more than 70% of electric generation will be renewable by 2030, GHG emission reductions of at least 20% compared to 1990, and at least 20% of the national budget to be earmarked for climate-positive investment.

The government is also determined to make the energy transition a just one, with the approval of a national Strategy on Just Transition that aims to support this transition by optimizing the opportunities ahead in a fair manner and ensuring no one is left behind.

It includes instruments to promote professional training, reskilling and upskilling of workforce, active employment policies for territories and sectors more exposed to the transition, such as mining regions where measures have already been undertaken.

Tim Ash Vie, Under2 Coalition Secretariat Director at The Climate Group, said:

“We are delighted to welcome Spain to the Under2 Coalition as a national endorser. Spain will play a crucial role in supporting the action being delivered by their regions in the Under2 Coalition and ensuring climate action that is integrated across all levels of government. With national government support states and regions can be even more empowered to cut emissions.”

Regional climate action in Spain

The Spanish regions of Andalusia, the Basque Country, Catalonia, and Navarra are all signatories of the Under2 Coalition and are already implementing climate change policies and cutting emissions. Together they make up over 40% of Spanish GDP.

The Basque Country

  • The Basque Government’s KLIMA 2050 Strategy aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030; and to be committed to a low-carbon energy model, where renewable energy consumption of 40% of final consumption is expected to be achieved by 2050.
  • Through a public-private partnership, The Basque Country became a smart grids leader.
  • The Basque Country have committed to an 80% reduction in their base year emissions of 2005 by 2050

Catalonia

  • In 2017, Catalonia passed a law to reduce emissions by 100% by 2050
  • Catalonia have committed to 100% in renewable energy consumption by 2050
  • In the 2018 Global States and Regions Annual Disclosure Catalonia were 95% complete in their 2020 targets of 25% emissions reduction compared to base year

Navarra

Andalusia

  • Andalusia has already surpassed their 2030 target of 25% reduction of base year emissions
  • In September 2018, the Andalusian Parliament approved the ‘Law of Measures against Climate Change and the Transition towards a new Energy Model in Andalusia’ which aims to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases and the consumption of fossil fuels and promote adaptation to climate change
  • The measures proposed include a 30% reduction in energy use across the region by 2030 while increasing the amount of renewable energy used
  • Sustainable agricultural policies from Andalusia were featured in the Low Carbon Regions Handbook produced by the Rocky Mountain Institute.

Many Spanish companies are also playing a role in the clean energy transition. Telefonica, Bankia, Caixa Bank and BBVA are all members of The Climate Group’s renewable energy initiative RE100, and have committed to source 100% renewable electricity across their global operations. There are a further 41 companies committed to the RE100 initiative who have operations in Spain.  

To read this story in Spanish click here.

Find out more about the Under2 Coalition

Please contact:
Subaskar Sitsabeshan, Head of Government Relations, The Climate Group
+44 207 960 2970
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