Friday, April 16

The 10 keys to the Spanish Climate Change Law

The 10 keys to the Spanish Climate Change Law

The 10 keys to the Spanish Climate Change Law

The Climate Change Law project enters its final stretch. It is a regulation derived from international agreements that oblige States to adopt concrete and precise measures to stop global warming. The ultimate goal is that Spain stops emitting polluting gases into the atmosphere in 2050, with an intermediate step in 2030, in which many of the measures included in the law are focused. The measures contained in the law will affect all Spaniards, since, for example, from 2040 on, gasoline or diesel cars will no longer be able to be bought, because they will not be allowed to be placed on the market.

These are some of its most relevant content:

1.Oil and gas exploration ends. The new law puts an end to the oil industry in Spain, both at sea and on land. No new oil and gas exploration, research or drilling may be authorized throughout the national territory, and as regards the exploitations already in force, they may not be terminated beyond December 31, 2042.

2.Reduction of polluting gas emissions. It is one of the points in which there has been more debate between the parties that promote the rule. By 2030 Spain must reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 23% compared to those in 1990. However, this percentage should be revised (upwards) in 2023. The Ministry considers that this The 23% reduction fits into the European Commission’s goal of reducing emissions by 55% for the EU as a whole.

3.Regulation of large wind and photovoltaic parks. There are more protests over the impact of large renewable energy facilities. For this reason, the law establishes that these large parks must be planned “in a manner compatible with the conservation of the natural environment” and the planning of the territory. In addition, a part of the wealth generated by these facilities must revert to the affected territory itself to benefit its economy.

4.74% of clean energies in 2030. The contribution of renewable energies to the Spanish electricity system, which is now around 40%, should reach 74% by 2030. Similarly, final energy consumption should come in 42% from clean sources. However, the law does not speak of self-consumption (domestic renewable installations) nor will it take advantage to transpose the community directive on renewable energy.

5.No gasoline cars will be sold from 2040. Although environmental entities had asked to anticipate the date, it will finally be in 2040 when cars that use petroleum derivatives will stop being marketed. Given that the useful life of a vehicle always usually exceeds ten years, it is foreseeable that it will not be until 2050 when gasoline or diesel cars disappear from the urban landscape. It will be just that year when Spain must achieve climate neutrality (that is, the total cessation of emissions). On the negative side, it highlights that the law does not provide measures to prohibit truck emissions. In addition, the fuel supply facilities for vehicles must install at least one electric recharging infrastructure with a power equal to or greater than 50 kW in direct current, within a period of time between 21 and 27 months, from the entry into force. of the law. Some parties and environmental entities asked for more power to shorten the recharging time.

6. Greener materials in construction. The new law requires the use of materials with a lower carbon footprint in the rehabilitation of buildings. From the moment the regulation is approved, the Government must present a housing rehabilitation plan in six months, which will include the details of the new actions. Construction is one of the main responsible for carbon emissions.

7.Low emission zones in cities. All cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants will have to have low emission zones, that is, where maximum restrictions are applied to polluting traffic and other activities that generate pollution. The measure should be effective within two years, in 2023.

8 concessions on the coasts. Given that the rise in sea level will be one of the most notorious effects of climate change, the norm establishes that the titles of occupation of the maritime-terrestrial public domain will compute their validity from their granting and including all their extensions, for a maximum period of 75 years, without exceeding the maximum terms established in the Coastal Law.

9. There will be no uranium mines. “No new applications for the granting of exploitation permits, research permits or direct exploitation concessions, nor their extensions” for radioactive mines and minerals, states one of the articles of the law. It is considered that by means of this precept controversial projects, such as that of Retortillo, in Salamanca, can be avoided.

10. Food is healthier. The Climate Change Law also takes into account that food is one of the causes of greenhouse gas emissions, and therefore includes some measures in this regard. For example, when the Administrations have to contract food supplies, they may oblige that fresh and seasonal products prevail, and that they are also nearby.

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