The Catalan government has adopted a resolution in which it expresses support for citizen initiatives that are emerging to tackle the climate emergency and reiterates its commitment to addressing this issue. The government recognises that the climate emergency is one of the main challenges facing Catalonia and urges all members of Catalan society to get involved. Finally, the executive has resolved to participate in national and international initiatives when its involvement is possible.
The Global Climate Strike called for 27 September will be the culmination of a week of mobilisations starting on 20 September. Demonstrations will kick off days ahead of the Climate Action Summit to be held in New York on 23 September and continue until the 27th.
In Catalonia, over a hundred organisations have endorsed the “Manifesto for a New Governance of the Energy Transition”. The Catalan government is fully aware of the challenge posed by climate change. Consequently, both the National Agreement for the Energy Transition of Catalonia and the Catalan Climate Change Law emphasise the need to progressively move beyond the fossil fuel-based economy.
Also, in response to constant alerts from the scientific community, on 14 May 2019, the government decided to join political institutions around the world in declaring a climate and environmental emergency, undertaking a series of commitments to achieve the mitigation objectives set out in the Climate Change Law.
Urgent measures to tackle the climate emergency
The Executive Council has received a report prepared by the Ministry of Territory and Sustainability, with the participation of the Ministry for Business, detailing urgent measures to tackle the climate emergency.
It is anticipated that within three months a draft decree-law on measures for tackling the climate emergency will be submitted to Parliament. The new legislation will introduce a range of legal measures to facilitate achievement of the objectives set out in the Climate Change Law, particularly as regards promotion of renewable energies, self-consumption, and distributed generation.
Catalan climate change summit
In terms of governance, the text of the resolution states that a Catalan climate change summit will be held in six months. Representatives of all environmental, economic, social, political and academic sectors will be invited to take part with the aim of agreeing a short- and medium-term road map for pursuing climate change mitigation and adaptation policy.
New adaptation strategy
One of the most substantial initiatives for boosting Catalonia’s ability to adapt to climate change impacts is the inclusion of adaptation actions in sectoral planning.
Driving the energy transition and mitigation
Data from greenhouse gas inventories for Catalonia indicate that the energy processing sector, which accounts for 70% of total emissions, is a key area to focus on. It is therefore essential to transition towards less carbon-intensive energy models. In many sectors, apart from changing energy sources, this means redesigning production processes.
The Catalan government will maintain and strengthen Catalonia’s network of outstanding research and innovation centres, which play an important role in generating knowledge in areas related to climate change.
Climate justice actions
In any process of change and transformation, particular attention must be given to areas where negative impacts may occur, whether as a result of some technologies being replaced by others, or because certain social groups find it hard to keep up with the pace of transformation. It is essential to anticipate these collateral effects and put in place mechanisms to ensure that no one is left behind.
Support for global climate actions
The Executive Council has also resolved to support the actions aimed at combating climate change that will take place around the world on Friday, 27 September, coinciding with the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York, in which the Catalan government will take part.
Beyond specific actions, the government believes the key is to change the decision-making mechanisms employed by public bodies, economic organisations, individuals and families. It has assumed a commitment to bring about this change of organisational culture within the Government of Catalonia and encourages the broader society and economic actors to do the same.