Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Climate Change: Ambition in Spain

While the world is currently struggling with the pandemic, we have another crisis to deal with as well: climate change. Fortunately, not everyone has forgotten about it, with Spain announcing ambitious plans to go net-zero by 2050:

Under the law, which still needs to be approved by Parliament, the government is pledging to make Spain’s electricity system 100% renewable by the middle of the century, ban all new coal, oil and gas extraction projects with immediate effect, end direct fossil fuel subsidies and make all new vehicles emission-free by 2040.

To reach its 2050 goal, the government has proposed interim targets through its national energy and climate plans to 2030.

By 2030, the government pledged to reduce emissions 23% from 1990 levels and double the proportion of renewable sources in total energy consumption to 35-42% — an objective it described as consistent with the EU bloc-wide target to cut emissions 50%-55% by 2030.

Its a very similar model to New Zealand and the UK, down to the independent panel to guide policy. But its a real net-zero target, not some bullshit "net-zero for everything but our biggest polluter", and its coupled with some actual legislated policy measures to make it happen, rather than just pushing it out into the never-never (again).

Meanwhile in New Zealand policy seems to be moving in the opposite direction, with the government planning to gut the RMA and pushing roads and "mangrove removal" - the destruction of coastal wetlands - as "shovel ready" employment strategies. Which tells us that Ardern's famous "nuclear-free moment" was nothing but a cynical marketing ploy from a politician who ultimately does not give a damn.