International organisations such as Pew Research and YouGov estimate that more than 80% of the Spanish population is aware and concerned about the impact of climate change.
According to the latest Global Climate Risk Index (GRI), prepared by the NGO Germanwatch and presented in Madrid at the COP25, Spain is among one of the 30 countries most vulnerable to this phenomenon. This is not news to its inhabitants: droughts and flash floods are increasingly frequent, alternating with powerful hailstorms and heat waves.
Given this situation, it is not surprising that our nation is also one of the most committed to working towards stopping it. According to data from the US think tank Pew Research, 81% of Spaniards believe that climate change is a threat. A figure very similar to that of the Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas (CIS) just a year ago and slightly lower than the one recently published by the British market research and data analysis firm YouGov.
This latest ranking places us as the third most aware country in the world in this field, while the Pew Research ranking places Spain in fourth place. These positions are linked to the general sentiment of the population but also to the measures being adopted by public and private organisations who are working towards curbing greenhouse gas emissions and global warming.
The measures being taken
Over the last year, Spain has developed an environmental plan which includes a series of measures, organised by the Ministry of Ecological Transition following the guidelines of the European Commission. In addition to putting an end to the so-called sun tax and developing regulations for energy self-management, the first draft of the Climate Change Bill has already been sent to Brussels.
Another measure that is already underway and is being adapted to social and environmental changes is the Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan (PNIEC), a strategic document that includes the course of action that Spain will take in this area and has been positively assessed by the European Commission and independent entities.
On top of these measures is the Just Transition Strategy, which follows the guidelines on this matter developed by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and which the Government has already begun to implement through agreements in territories affected by the closure of thermal power stations. Its aim is none other than to maintain and create new activity and employment in these areas in order to avoid a negative impact on the labour market.
Committed to the SDGs
The fight against climate change is the crux of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations in its 2030 Agenda. Spain is highly committed to complying with each and every one of them. In fact, it ranks 21st out of 162 countries analysed in the Sustainable Development Report 2019, prepared by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN).
This document bases its results on data from international organisations such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the OECD and is audited by the European Commission. Specifically, Spain obtains its best results in SDG 6 – clean water and sanitation – and in SDG 7 – affordable and non-polluting energy.
According to the latest report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), our country is the world’s 12th largest renewable energy power. 17.5% of the energy consumed in our country is renewable, and almost 50% of the electricity we use comes from inexhaustible sources, taking into account data from Red Eléctrica Española (REE) and the Asociación e Empresas de Energías Renovables (APPA).