100% of Basque citizens believe that environmental protection is important. 73% believe it to be very important and 27% feel that it is quite important. The results of the study, carried out by the Sociological Research Office of the Basque Government, demonstrate this concern for the environment. In fact, society is increasingly in favour of converting this environmental awareness into specific initiatives and commitments, which points to a promising future and enables us to make firm progress in terms of addressing vital challenges: the fight against climate change, promoting the circular economy, waste reduction, protection of biodiversity and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Climate change occupies a central position within this concern for the environment. Euskadi’s contribution to climate change is small in quantitative terms (0.5% of total EU emissions). Nonetheless, since the basic principle governing international emissions reduction policies is that of shared responsibility, Basque society does not wish to be on the sidelines of the fight against climate change and is firmly committed to assuming its share of responsibility.

In this respect, Euskadi has set ambitious goals. The Klima 2050 Basque Country Climate Change Strategy sets greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets of 40% by 2030 and 80% by 2050, with respect to 2005 emissions. But we have gone further still. The draft Bill on Climate Change recently presented sets the target of a carbon-neutral Euskadi by 2050, i.e., zero emissions. We must be ambitious because there is no time to lose in the face of the climate crisis.

In this respect, I would like to highlight the growing commitment of young people to sustainable habits. The figures show that two thirds of young Basques habitually separate domestic waste. Over half of them limit their water consumption, use public transport and use their own shopping bags. Factors such as these allow us to think in terms of a more sustainable future.

Our young people are expressing their views and demanding that we act. Not only are they speaking of climate change, but also of social change and I believe that no transformation of society is possible without taking account of 50% of the population i.e., without taking women into account.

Elena Moreno, Deputy Regional Minister of Environment of the Basque Government