March 8, 2021

Euskadi closes ranks against warming and declares climate emergency | Society

The Basque government approved Tuesday to declare the situation of "climatic and environmental emergency", following the steps taken by numerous institutions political, social and academic around the world. With this step, it assumes the commitment to "adopt urgent and ambitious actions in the set of policies of the autonomous" Executive, among which are "advancing in a carbon neutral economy by 2050" and "the use of 40% of recycled materials in public works ".

The lehendakari, Iñigo Urkullu, accompanied by all the members of his cabinet, has read today the institutional declaration in which the Basque Government reaffirms its objective of "leading" the challenge against climate change and turn it into "a lever of transformation towards a more competitive and climate neutral economy." The approved document is an exhibition of wills and commitments, without detailing the specific actions to be taken, nor the economic amounts for their implementation.

Urkullu has proclaimed that the fight against global warming is currently "one of the most urgent and complex challenges" that concerns "everyone". "It is not about amplifying any kind of unconscious alarmism, but about giving this challenge the true dimension and attention it deserves," said the lehendakari. The Basque Government considers that it is an "unquestionable reality" whose correct management "entails benefits for the environment and people's health", as well as "opportunities for more sustainable economic growth and the generation of opportunities for greater employment".

A recent study by Ihobe, the environmental management company under the Basque Government, with daily data since 1971 concludes that the forecast of an increase in minimum temperatures in winter and maximum temperatures in summer will cause 40 municipalities in the Basque Country in the that reside 80% of the population, will be affected by extreme weather events in the coming years, such as floods, sea level rises and heat waves.

"There are many reasons to mobilize against climate change, "said the Minister of the Environment, Iñaki Arriola, during the international conference against climate change" Change to Change ", held last March in San Sebastian. The climate atlas he has prepared warns that minimum temperatures extreme temperatures will rise between 1 and 3 ° C in the winter months, while the maximum extreme temperatures will increase 3 ° C during the summer.This forecast will also occur in the three Basque capitals, which will register an increase of 4-5 ° C at the end of this century. of maximum temperatures and 3-4ºC of minimum temperatures.

Ellehendakari Urkullu and the Basque Government advisers, during the reading on Tuesday of the climate emergency declaration.

Ellehendakari Urkullu and the Basque Government advisers, during the reading on Tuesday of the climate emergency declaration.

This panorama has led the Basque Government to favor industrial, fiscal, energy, research and innovation policies that serve to mitigate the effects of climate change. The climate emergency declaration advocates the need to address a "comprehensive adaptation of transport systems, urban and territorial configuration dynamics, resource management, industrial and agricultural production models or the commitment to the circular economy" .

Euskadi is, as stated in the aforementioned declaration, "among the five European countries in energy efficiency". The Basque Parliament handles the regional energy sustainability law that has already passed the period of allegations and could be approved by the Executive at the end of this year. Urkullu has also stressed that it is aligned with the 2030 Agenda and the United Nations sustainable development goals and with the European Union Strategy.

The step taken now with the declaration of climatic emergency implies, as highlighted by the lehendakari, the commitment to "promote the measures of emission reduction and climate adaptation that are necessary" with the necessary means and economic resources, although not quantify "To this end, the General Administration of Euskadi and its related entities will allocate part of their annual budget to actions with an impact on climate change. Basque budgets will collect economic and financial information that can be monitored by actions, measures, services, economic programs. The necessary agreements and agreements will be promoted so that concrete programs and actions can be co-financed "by the councils and municipalities.

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