The first law passed by the new Catalan government will combat climate change

The Catalan Government, led by Carles Puigdemont since the beginning of January 2016, passed the first bill of the new legislative period on the 26th of January. It is a law against climate change that, among other things, aims at reducing CO2 emissions in the Catalan territory.

The law, groundbreaking in the Spanish State and among the first ones in Southern Europe, sets climate change mitigation targets focused on Catalonia’s shift towards a new model of sustainable development. It provides for a 25% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 (compared to 2005 levels) and an 80% reduction by 2050. “Some of the climate change effects are already evident in Catalonia, like the lengthy periods of drought affecting agriculture; forests more prone to fires all year round; the rise of sea level […] and an increase in fuel poverty”, explained Josep Rull, regional Minister for Land and Sustainability, in a press conference held after the Executive Body’s meeting.

The project includes the introduction of a tax on carbon dioxide emissions from the more polluting cars and vans, to be applied from 2018. It also includes the rehabilitation of homes on the basis of energy saving and the establishment of social tariffs in water, gas and electricity services for groups at risk of social exclusion. A Climate Fund has been established in order to meet the objectives. In this respect, the Catalan Climate Council will also play a major role, as it is a body of independent experts that will be devoted to periodically assess the objectives’ achievement.

 

Cover image: Jordi Bedmar / Generalitat de Catalunya

Above: Ruben Moreno / Generalitat de Gatalunya

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