Spanish politics undermining climate change fight

Spanish politics undermining climate change fight

11 December 2019 04:47 pm

With higher-than-average increases in temperature, steadily advancing desertification and rising risks of drought and sea flooding, few would disagree that Spain is on the front line of Europe's battle against climate change.

But while government officials point to the ongoing COP25 conference as a sign of Spain's firm engagement in the battle against global warming, continuing political deadlock means the country's long wait for a law to fight climate change on home turf continues.

In November, Spain held its fourth general election in four years, which was won by the Socialist Party. But the Socialists' repeated failure to secure a parliamentary majority leaves Spain currently dependent on a caretaker government that cannot pass new laws.

This includes legislation on global warming drafted nearly a year ago, which Spain is said to need to ensure it reaches its 2030 targets on carbon emissions, and despite the Spanish parliament recognising - by an overwhelming 311 votes to 24 - that climate change "was a cross-party priority".

"A climate change law doesn't just raise public awareness, it also mainstreams the question across all government policy areas," Maik Winges, a specialist on adaption to climate change with the environmental NGO Germanwatch said.

"That matters because you cannot adapt [to climate change] and leave something else out in the process."

Germanwatch's own analysis of Climate Change Performance [CCP] by country also suggests Spain's need for urgent action. Spain is currently ranked 35th in the latest available 2019 CCP index from 2019, rated "low", and 19 places below the average for the European Union.

Al Jazeera