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Spain

Climate change policies are becoming central in the Spanish political landscape and citizens are increasingly becoming aware of the economic and social aspects of the climate crisis. The ECF’s Spanish programme aims to support and improve fair transition policies that drive emissions cuts in the national economy while providing sustainable jobs and a healthy environment for all.

Jack Gisel Thhqerhxvma Unsplash

Key challenges

  • Political inertia: A highly polarized political environment between right and left-wing parties risk undermining climate targets. On top of this, regional conflicts add complexity to political decisions, most of which have to be agreed in Congress since no party has an absolute majority. 
  • National reduction targets have to be achieved at a regional and local level: Spain has most of its political competences distributed among its regions. While the Central government has presented an Energy and Clima Plan aiming to reduce emissions by 23% in 2030, this has to be achieved through policy implementation by regional and local governments.
  • Fair transition and green economy: As a country that is still emerging from the 2008 financial crisis while facing a new one caused by Covid-19, the climate change policies have to be perceived and designed as an opportunity for a fair ecological and economic transition.

Mission

  • Supporting the implementation of a carbon neutrality strategy: Now that several legislations related to climate change and ecological transition are being discussed and the national climate emergency has been declared, we are working on supporting and/or improving domestic policies that drive emissions cuts in the national economy.
  • Supporting the implementation of sectoral policies in alignment with the net-zero transition: In Spain, transport accounts for almost 50% of the total emissions of non-ETS sectors. Buildings are 15% and agriculture 17%. Supporting these sectors’ decarbonization is key to achieve a net-zero economy by 2050.
  • Fair transition: Mitigation policies have to be developed and implemented while having a deep reflection on their social and economic aspects in order to guarantee their long-term sustainability, as well as the citizens’ confidence and support.
  • Promoting and supporting public participation: Raising awareness and promoting citizens participation in the political decisions to legitimize them.

How we work

The ECF identifies gaps in the Spanish response to climate change and therefore funds organisations and coalitions of stakeholders with the right expertise and public profile to address key issues at local and/or national level. We take a broad approach to the types of interventions we fund – from litigation and political caucusing to activism and media engagement – because all of these activities build towards an ambitious and thoughtful movement that reflects the full diversity of our society. Together with our grantees, we seek social and political transformation that will ensure a secure and sustainable future for all.