Spanish Cabinet gives green light to draft climate change bill

The legislation ensures a regulatory framework to adapt our situation to climate demands and sets out a fair and equitable transition by means of instruments to assist more vulnerable groups. It facilitates the availing of economic opportunities, and provides stability and certainty to promote climate action in the public administration, businesses and society in general. The legislation includes five-year working plans to anticipate the effects of climate change and adapt our resources and sectors to these effects.

On Friday last, the Spanish Cabinet, on the proposal of the Ministry for Ecological Transition, ratified the Draft Bill on Climate Change and Energy Transition (LCCTE), which will provide the legislative and institutional framework to facilitate and guide the decarbonisation of the Spanish economy by 2050, as required by the EU, and in accordance with the commitment entered into under the Paris Accord.

Subsequent to Friday’s ratification, the draft bill will now be the subject of public consultation and a statutory report drafted by the Ministries and the Council of State. Once these stages have been completed and the contributions arising from them have been incorporated into the text, the draft bill will once again be submitted to the Cabinet for ratification.

Back in 2011, the Mixed Congress/Senate Commission for the Study of Climate Change recommended that this legislation be drafted by the government. It constitutes a legislative framework that provides stability and certainty to guide the decarbonisation of the different sectors of the Spanish economy between now and 2050. The legislation facilitates a transformation which will enable the country to gain in terms of prosperity, security, job creation, technological development and social justice.

The draft bill features two major time references for the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the introduction of renewable energies and more efficient energy use: 2030 and 2050.

This is the first time the importance of adaptation to the impacts of climate change has been acknowledged in the form of a law. The most relevant new provisions include the setting of targets to foster resilience and adaptation to climate change. The legislation also sets out that the Spanish National Plan for Adaptation to Climate Change will take the form of Work Programmes to be undertaken in five-year periods, with periodic reviews of results. These reviews will be taken as the basis for drafting the proposals to be included in the following Programme. The National Plan for Adaptation to Climate Change will also be structured in the form of sectoral plans.