Over recent months, it has appeared that the global COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the climate debate aside. But Spain has just approved an enormous plan in the name of environmental protection.
The Spanish Government has just proposed a 100% renewable electricity system, a National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan, as well as a low emissions strategy which will be put in place between now and 2050.
The Spanish Government’s plans will include a number of intensive changes and strategies which will apply to a huge number of sectors, including ending all permits for hydrocarbons and banning fracking beyond the year 2040. 2040 will also see the Government abolishing all economic subsidies for fossil fuel emissions and banning the registration of CO2-emitting vehicles.
It is Spain’s objective to not only fulfil the required effort detailed by the European Union but to surpass them, creating reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20 per cent compared to 1990, six points more than what is required by the European Union. The law will also see the creation of a Committee on Climate Change and Energy Transition that will work as an independent adviser to the Government.
The Secretary of State has said that the drafted document is a “starting pistol” which will enact a progressive dialogue for the drafting of the law on climate change and energy transition. After meeting with administrations and all sectors that must be involved, they hope that no one is left behind in the process, leading to a more environmentally conscious and future-forward thinking nation.
Spain’s proposal is similar to the changes being made in a number of countries, including the UK, Denmark, Ireland, France and Germany. While this is incredible news and a sure sign of hope, it does leave us wondering whether Australia will ever follow suit.