17 AUGUST 2022

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The climate change law

climate change

Climate change refers to long-term changes in temperatures and weather patterns. These changes can be natural, for example through variations in the solar cycle. But since the 19th century, human activities have been the main driver of climate change, mainly due to the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas.

For some time now, Spain has had a Climate Change and Energy Transition Law that aims to help the country achieve climate neutrality by 2050, i.e. to emit only those greenhouse gases that can be absorbed by natural sinks (such as oceans and forests).

This law has set four objectives:

  1. To reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the Spanish economy as a whole by at least 23% by 2030 compared to 1990.
  2. To achieve a penetration of renewable energies in final energy consumption of at least 42% by the year 2030.
  3. To achieve an electricity system with at least 74% of generation from renewable energies by the year 2030.
  4. Improve energy efficiency by reducing primary energy consumption by at least 39.5% compared to the baseline in accordance with EU regulations.

It also establishes that by 2050, Spain must achieve climate neutrality and the electricity system must be based exclusively on renewable generation sources.

Key points of the law:

  1. Renewable energies and energy efficiency:

The Government considers energy efficiency and the progressive penetration of renewable energies in the Spanish energy mix as the main levers of economic reactivation in the short term, as well as the pillars of decarbonisation.

  1. Energy transition and fuels:

The regulation establishes a series of limitations for the exploitation of new fossil fuel deposits in Spain, both onshore and offshore, since the burning of this type of fuel to generate energy is the main source of greenhouse gas emissions (80%).

  1. Emission-free mobility and transport:

The automotive sector, like the energy sector, is subject to very ambitious targets. In this case, the aim is to achieve a fleet of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles with no direct CO2 emissions by 2050.

The regulation also establishes obligations for petrol stations to install charging points for electric cars and to facilitate their installation in buildings and car parks. From 2023, all non-residential buildings with more than 20 parking spaces must have charging infrastructure.

  1. Measures to adapt to the effects of climate change.

 The new Law contemplates a National Plan for Adaptation to Climate Change (PNACC) with the purpose of defining the objectives, criteria, areas of application and actions to promote resilience and adaptation to climate change.

  1. Just Transition Measures.

The aim is to optimise the opportunities for activity and employment in the transition to a low greenhouse gas emission economy and to identify and adopt measures that guarantee fair and supportive treatment for workers and territories in this transition.

Find out more about renewable energies here. 

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