The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Institutional Relations, and Transparency, Raül Romeva, participated in the closing of the conference “Climate Futures: The Road After Paris”, organized by the Advising Minister on Sustainable Development of the Government (CADS) and by the CIDOB (Barcelona Centre for International Affairs), in the Recinte Modernista de Sant Pau. In his address, Romeva highlighted the value of the Climate Change Act bill, approved by the government this January.
Romeva recalled that “Catalonia is fully committed to international action against the effects of climate change” and that the bill presented "demonstrates the extent of Catalonia’s compromise; it is an ambitious and innovative law, and one of the first of its kind to exist”. As the minister outlined, it established reduction objectives of 25% in the case of greenhouse gases by 2020 compared with 2005, and the objective of 80% reduction in emissions by 2050, in line with the directorates put forth by other European institutions.
According to the minister, "we need to take urgent measures, especially in the Mediterranean region” and “this is, without a doubt, the first step toward changing volition through action and materializing acquired compromises".
The Global Atmosphere After COP21
Romeva remarked that “Catalonia has much to say on global challenges like climate change, sustainable development, and international security”. The conference has served to analyze the global atmosphere after the Summit on Climate Change in Paris in November and has counted on the participation of experts from all over Europe.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs stressed that the agreement acquired in Paris “is important because it implicates every nation and draws a framework the can serve to continue strengthening the ambition of these compromises". Although many global challenges remain, “the international community has committed to the mitigation of climate change and its adaptation policies.” “Now, it is necessary to maintain the spirit of Paris and go deeper into the implementation of the agreement on every level, from international to local”, he added.
Romeva highlighted that “the government has committed to examining these issues with a global perspective” which implies “contributing in international debates, promoting multilateral action, and including these elements in the politics of cooperation for the purpose of development”, he concluded.
Working Session with International Experts
In attendance at the Recinte Modernista de Sant Pau were the director of CADS, Arnau Queralt, the director of CIDOB, Jordi Bacaria, researcher from the CIDOB, Luigi Carafa, and professor of condensed matter physics at the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, Josep Enric Llebot. Other international participants included the director of the French think tank IDDRI (Institute de Développement Durable et des Relations Internationales), Teresa Ribera, the minister from the European Climate Foundation and former co-president of the Working Group on the Mitigation of Climate Change in the IPCC (Grup Intergovernamental d’Experts sobre el Canvi Climàtico), Bert Metz, and the director of the Environmental Policy Research Center at Freie Universität Berlin, Miranda Schreurs.