1. “After years of cutbacks, neglect, and lack of ambition, this Government is fully committed to addressing the issue”, remarked Aragonès
  2. The President stated that the Catalan Government is working hand in hand with the economic sectors most affected by the drought and that they are already making an enormous effort to try to minimise its effects

The President of the Government of Catalonia, Pere Aragonès, opened this afternoon’s plenary session dedicated solely to the issue of climate change and drought, offering data on the rise in temperatures and the “40 months without heavy rainfall”. “The drought shows that climate change is the main challenge facing the country and humanity itself,” he said, before announcing that the 2024 budget foresees an allocation of “1.045 billion euros to combat the most important drought we have ever experienced”.

During his speech, President Aragonès stated that Catalonia “is suffering the worst side of climate change and the drought is sounding the alarm, a warning that compels us to react to prepare the country for the current reality”. And, according to Aragonès, this is an absolute priority for the Catalan Government, “because we are talking about life, and when it comes to saving lives there can be no excuses”.

A prosperous Catalonia that leaves no one behind

The President emphasised that a transformation is needed in “the way we produce, distribute and consume goods and services in our country and all over the planet”. He added that this change must be approached with “the utmost ambition” and with the awareness that climate change is not only a threat to biodiversity and the environment, but also “to the country’s productive system, to the economy as a whole and to the social cohesion of our nation”.

Nevertheless, President Aragonès stated that he wants “a prosperous Catalonia” in economic sectors such as agriculture and livestock farming, industry and tourism, but bearing in mind that this must be achieved through a “viable and sustainable production system”. And he warned that “fighting climate change today is not a cost, but an investment”.

More investment and more resources

The head of the Catalan Government acknowledged that the drought situation affecting the country is extreme and that, “we will probably have to take difficult decisions”, but he emphasised that the Government is fully committed and “we will continue to be so with more investment and more resources”. The President remarked that “after years of cutbacks, neglect, and lack of ambition, this Government is fully committed to addressing the issue and the progress we have made is unquestionable”.

Aragonès stated that it is important for the country “to be self-sufficient in water production and not to have to wait for it to rain in order to guarantee the supply”, underscoring “all the investment we are undertaking is in this direction”. In this regard, he emphasised that “in the next five years” we will have all the infrastructures “we need not to depend on rain to guarantee drinking water”.“Preparing the country and transforming the country for the new climate reality is what this is all about”, he said.