This report is in the form of memos from Climate Scorecard Country Managers to Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework to Combat Climate Change (UNFCCC). Below is a description of the progress the country has made made in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions since the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015 and the challenges they still face in order to comply with the IPCC goal of reducing emissions by 50% by 2030.
To: Patricia Espinosa
Subject: Climate Scorecard Progress Report for Spain
From: Wendy Paredes
Climate Scorecard Spain Country Manager
I serve as Climate Scorecard Country Manager for Spain and would like to offer you the following climate mitigation progress report from the perspective of my organization.
Since its initial 2015 pledge to the Paris Agreement Spain has made good progress in meeting the goal of reducing emissions by 50% by 2030.
On the positive side Spain has accomplished the following actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions:
- Carbon footprint registration, compensation and CO2 absorption projects.
This voluntary registry was created with the aim of promoting the calculation and reduction of the carbon footprint by Spanish organizations, as well as promoting projects that improve Spain’s carbon sink capacity.
- Environmental promotion plans.
Promotion of actions that have an environmental benefit, such as improving air quality or reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Depending on the plan, direct aid is provided or reduced CO2 is purchased.
- Climate projects.
Through an annual call, the climate projects seek to encourage the implementation of projects in national territory that promote the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in diffuse sectors, through the purchase of the reduced and verified emissions by the Fund Carbon for a Sustainable Economy (FES-CO2).
This climate financing instrument is conceived with the objective of generating low-carbon and climate-resistant economic activity, contributing to the fulfillment of the objectives of reducing Spain’s greenhouse gas emissions and promoting technological development for decarbonization and climate resilience in key sectors of the economy.
After 10 years of activity and the development of 8 successful calls for the so-called Climate Projects, the FE-CO2 has proven to be a valuable tool to support the already initiated process of ecological transition in Spain. At the same time, it contributes to achieving prosperity economic and technological development and quality employment that serve as a lever for the modernization and progress of the country.
The Fund has offered and offers support to the private sector to undertake low-carbon activities, fostering the investment climate necessary to promote the development of clean technologies that contribute to the mitigation of climate change through the purchase of credits in the form of verified emission reductions. of projects developed in Spain. The fund has ensured the viability of these activities or clean technologies, facilitating their development and expansion, thus contributing to the reduction of emissions in the national territory.
- A million commitments for the climate.
This awareness campaign on the fight against climate change provides information on actions that affect daily life and that have a positive impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This project that has been promoted by more than 60 Spanish entities, institutions and companies that encourage the population to put their grain of sand with a view to the Paris Climate Summit.
The project “One million commitments for the climate” is promoted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment, the Biodiversity Foundation, Save Horizon, Ecodes, and Ineco. With the support of more than 60 entities, institutions, and companies, the objective has been to involve all citizens in the fight against climate change as a contribution to make COP 21 a success.
With this campaign, Spanish society has been aware of the need for urgent and joint action in the face of the climate crisis. Because it is necessary for citizens, companies, administrations and organizations to act together to be able to reverse this situation.
However, the following conditions remain in Spain that threaten its ability to make further progress, and reach the important goal of reducing emissions by 50% by 2030.
- 23% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions compared to 1990.
Spain is part of the European Union (EU), which has proposed to raise its ambition on reducing greenhouse gas emissions to at least 50% below 1990 levels by 2030. Among the efforts to contribute to this commitment, Spain has developed the National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan (PNIEC) 2021-2030, in which the carbon reduction goal is 23% by this year. However, as Spain has the second largest land mass and the fourth largest population in the European Union, Climate Scorecard calls into question whether an emissions reduction below 50% from Spain will enable the European Union to obtain its 2030 carbon cutback target.
- The climate change awareness and living style.
In the process of implementing the Long-Term Decarbonization Strategy for the year 2050, Spain encountered social and technological challenges. In one hand, the majority of the population is unaware of the phenomenon of climate change, its causes and possible consequences or has wrong ideas about it. In the other hand, the life model based on high energy consumption enjoys high social acceptance.
The environmental promotion plans described above have been effective, whoever the knowledge useful for providing appropriate responses to climate change can be remarkably important and it can change depending on the contexts; it includes a series of ideas that allow the society to understand the phenomenon itself, but also a varied set of practical data and procedures that provide the “know-how” necessary to help mitigate the problem.
Moreover, the transition towards a culture that achieves the neutrality of GHG emissions raises important conflicts of interest that cannot be ignored if one wishes to have a realistic vision of the problem. Conflicts of interest condition the quality of human responses to environmental problems. Despite this, when it comes to analyzing environmental issues, little attention is often paid to this aspect.
- Renewable alternatives for energy generation.
In Spain, important economic sectors see their interests threatened by the proposed emission reduction proposals and openly oppose the implementation of substantial mitigation alternatives, hindering decisive responses to the problem. The main barrier is the economic cost, when it comes to direct disbursement to combat climate change, the disposition is less.
According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), it estimates that, to achieve the energy transition, the global market would have to invest about 1.6 trillion dollars. Specifically, investment in energy infrastructure should increase from around 290,000 million dollars to 880,000 million dollars in 2030, destined for electricity grids, charging stations for public electric vehicles, hydrogen refueling stations, import and export terminals, direct air and CO2 capture pipelines, and storage facilities.
Climate Scorecard is committed to working with other like-minded organizations to support efforts by Spain to make further progress in its effort to reduce emissions by 50% by 2030 and help the Paris Agreement reach its important goals.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about this report or need further information.