vitoria event logoThe Next June 3 in Vitoria-Gasteiz we will have the opportunity to learn about the policies and strategies that are being deployed around climate change in Europe, Spain and the Basque Country. These are the Conferences on Climate Change. Administrations, Citizenship and Companies: Shared Responsibility, where a representative of the EU will intervene, among others; Teresa Ribera Rodríguez, Secretary of State for Climate Change; Pilar Unzalu Pérez de Eulate, Minister for the Environment, Regional Planning, Agriculture and Fisheries of the Basque Government; and Patxi Lazcoz Baigorri, Mayor of Vitoria-Gasteiz.

What can we expect from these speakers? From the European Union it is foreseeable that the presentation will focus on the already known package of measures on energy and climate change that aim to: reduce GHG emissions by 20% by 2020 compared to 1990 levels; increase the share for renewables to 20% by 2020; and improve the EU’s energy efficiency by 20% by 2020.

A few days ago, the European Commissioner for the Environment, Janez Potočnik, outlined the need to “decouple economic growth from resource consumption, promoting change towards a low-carbon economy, increasing the use of renewable energy sources , modernize the transport sector and promote energy efficiency” (Resource efficiency as a driver for greening the economy, April 26, 2010). Issues increasingly cited in different forums that, in the case of the European Union, are included in one of the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategywhich replaces the 2010 Lisbon Strategy. Thus, climate change and energy make up one of the main lines of work to achieve “smart, sustainable and inclusive growth”.

Europe 2020

During the period remaining until the next Climate Summit in Cancun at the end of this year, different meetings are being held within the United Nations to advance on the contents of the Copenhagen Agreement. Recently, at the April 2010 meeting in Bonn, the Executive Secretary of the Framework Convention on Climate Change Yvo de Boer highlighted the urgent need to implement effective cooperation mechanisms to develop mitigation and adaptation actions at the national, regional and local levels, one of the main aspects that he intends to highlight the Conferences on Climate Change in Vitoria-Gasteiz.

For its part, the Secretary of State for Climate Change Teresa Ribera Rodríguez will have the opportunity to present the general lines of the Spanish Strategy for Climate Change and Clean Energy (EECCEL), which is part of the Spanish Sustainable Development Strategy (EEDS). The Climate Change Strategy is a document that includes policies and measures that contribute to sustainable development in two areas: climate change and clean energy, obeying the following objectives:

  • Respect the international commitment assumed by Spain with the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol.
  • Preserve the competitiveness of the Spanish economy and employment.
  • Being compatible with economic and budgetary stability. Guarantee the security of energy supply.