October 26, 2020

Spain joins the UN's push for more ambitious decarbonisation | Society

Spain joins the UN's push for more ambitious decarbonisation | Society



Pedro Sánchez, upon arrival at the opening session of the Katowice conference.

The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, steps on the accelerator in the fight against climate change in full political crossroads after the Andalusian elections. Sánchez has announced in Poland that Spain adheres to the double commitment promoted by the climate conference that started on Monday in the Polish town of Katowice: on the one hand, confer more ambition to the global reduction of polluting gases. On the other hand, support the victims of the disappearance of the most carbon emitting industries, with special attention to the mining basins. Sanchez has advanced that he will shortly present to Congress his law on climate change and energy transition.

"Are we fulfilling the goals set? The answer is no. We are far from meeting the climate targets set in 2015, "said the President of the Government during his speech before the plenary of the conference on climate change COP24, which aims to strengthen the commitments sealed that year in the Paris agreement. This international framework, sponsored by the UN and then signed by almost 200 countries, is seconded by this conference in Poland. But the biggest boost in decarbonisation promoted by the most committed countries has a direct impact in some territories, especially in the activity and employment of the mining basins. "I am aware of the impact of these measures on the most exposed territories, sectors and groups. The answer is clear: a fair ecological transition, "he said.

In this context, Sánchez has announced an accompanying plan for those affected directly (5,400 in Spain, according to the calculations of the Joint Research Center, scientific advisory body of the European Commission), but has avoided giving details. The declaration of Silesia, one of the commitments that will come out of this summit at the direct initiative of Poland, the country most affected by this transition, reflects that will to cushion the negative consequences in the sectors harmed.

As proof of that greater Spanish commitment, Sanchez has reiterated the new objectives of reducing polluting emissions that will include its law against climate change. These are more ambitious goals than those held before the presentation of that text. By 2030, the country will reduce by 37% compared to current levels. With that first step, the fall will be practically total (90% in 2050). "The moment is now. Spain has a clear choice: act for a transition that can not be postponed, "he concluded. The president has also repeated an announcement made earlier: the will to allocate 900 million euros per year from 2020 to the decarbonization strategy.

Global cause

To counteract the idea that this determined commitment responds to ideological reasons, Sanchez has argued: "This is not a divisive cause for ideological or cultural reasons. It is a global cause, with human dignity as a background. " The American president, Donald Trump, who He left the climate agreement soundly last year, it does frame this decarbonisation strategy in ideological positions.

Despite the intentions of giving a strong political impulse to this race against the clock against climate change, the Katowice conference has started with the absence of some of the most prominent heads of State and Government. In addition to the United States, neither the leaders of France nor of Germany, among other European states, have attended the official opening of this act. Yes it has done it the prime minister of Holland, Mark Rutte, one of the most ambitious countries in the European strategy against the climatic change. Sánchez exchanged a few words with him before taking part in the plenary session of this conference, in which almost 200 countries from around the world participate.

Although Sánchez managed to keep this appointment on his agenda after the difficult digestion of the electoral debacle in Andalusia, the whole day was somewhat lackluster. The president arrived three hours later than expected and also could not hold the bilateral meetings he had arranged. The one of the French prime minister, Éduard Philippe, had been canceled previously because this one remained in France to the thread of the crisis of the calls yellow vests. The one of the Polish prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, was annulled on the march because this ruler was outside the conference when Sanchez arrived. With these changes of agenda, and before the delicate political situation that is lived in Spain, Sanchez undertook the trip of return towards Madrid hardly four hours after having landed in Katowice.

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