The Minister for Territory and Sustainability, Damià Calvet, today chaired the first meeting of the Committee of Experts on Climate Change, which is attached to the Ministry of Territory and Sustainability and made up of seven members appointed by Parliament. The meeting was also attended by the Secretary for Environment and Sustainability, Marta Subirà; the Director-General for Environmental Quality and Climate Change, Mercè Rius; and the head of the Catalan Climate Change Office, Salvador Samitier.
Established under the Climate Change Law, the committee will be responsible for presenting proposed carbon budgets to the Catalan government and for monitoring and evaluating them. Carbon budgets will stipulate the greenhouse gases that may be produced in Catalonia, from both facilities regulated by the carbon market and so-called diffuse sectors (transport, housing, etc.) “with the aim of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 as required under the Climate Change Law”, Calvet said. “31 December 2020 is the deadline we’ve set to approve the first carbon budgets, which will in fact be the first in Europe. We’ll then have to transpose them to the instruments used for day-to-day management, such as the Government Plan and budgets.”
The Minister said: “We’re facing a climate emergency, and for everything related to greenhouse gases, we need to have clear reduction targets that are aligned with global and EU targets. No constitutional court is going to keep us from achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, because we have the ability to regulate emissions through government plans or subsidies. We have the targets as a frame of reference so that we can combat climate change in our corner of the world – Catalonia.”
The committee of experts will report annually to Parliament on the degree of compliance with carbon budgets. It will be incumbent on the government to take into account the committee’s recommendations and incorporate them in its policies. When this is not possible, the government will have to specify the reasons and report them to Parliament.
The committee members were appointed in the plenary session of Parliament held on 13 June, and the first chair, Montserrat Termes, was chosen at today’s inaugural meeting.
Renowned academic experts and professionals
The committee is made up of seven renowned academic and professional experts appointed by the parliamentary groups.