Spain launches the International Drought Resilience Alliance and reiterates its full commitment to the climate emergency agenda
The President of the Government of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, has taken part in the first day of the Leaders’ Summit of the 27th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27), which is being held in the Egyptian city of Sharm el-Sheikh.
The fact that the conference is taking place in Egypt means that it is being referred to as ‘the African COP’, with many initiatives aimed at increasing Africa’s resilience and adaptation to the impact of the climate emergency, as well as securing the necessary financing to cope with the transition and make progress in increasing global climate ambition. Spain arrived at COP27 and committed to the African continent.
On the fridges of the Conference, Pedro Sánchez held bilateral meetings with the Prime Minister of Tunisia, Najla Bouden, and with HM King Abdullah II of Jordan.
Climate commitment and ambition
In the face of the climate emergency, maintaining a political and social position of “indifference does not admit absolution in the court of posterity”, warned President Pedro Sánchez during his speech at the plenary session of the Conference, in which he was accompanied by the Third Vice-President of the Government and Minister for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge, Teresa Ribera.
“Disasters such as the one experienced by the Doñana wetlands, a unique sanctuary of biodiversity, are not acceptable, neither through indifference nor neglect. Doñana is a place where local pressures are compounded by the impact of unprecedented extreme droughts, salinisation of aquifers and changes to the coastline. The combination of all these factors threatens its very existence. Only maximum political commitment at all levels will be able to respond to all these challenges”, the president stressed.
He also insisted that indifference stems from a conscious decision to refuse to look, in the mistaken belief that looking away makes us immune to the impending devastation caused by climate disruption. In contrast to this attitude, Spain has chosen absolute commitment and ambition in the agenda to combat the climate emergency.
International Drought Resilience Alliance and financial commitments
President Sánchez presented the launch of the International Drought Resilience Alliance, an initiative led by Spain and Senegal with the support of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification. Spain will provide 5 million euros for it to start operating.
Similarly, the country has committed 3 million euros to the Systematic Observing Mechanism of the World Meteorological Organization, an initiative promoted by the Secretary General of the United Nations. It will also contribute 2 million euros to the Santiago Network, and contributions to the Adaptation Fund will be reinforced by an additional 20 million euros.
Pedro Sánchez took part in one of the round tables dedicated to the just energy transition, an area in which Spain is considered a model for many countries.
In 2019, the Government of Spain approved the Just Transition Strategy to structure the closure process of the remaining coal mines and coal-fired power plants. The Government is dedicating 800 million euros to just transition zones. Over the past two years, nearly 700 people have contributed to the participatory process to define the Just Transition Agreements.
“Green shipping challenge”
The President of Spain also participated in the ‘Green Shipping Challenge’ event, organized by the United States special envoy for climate change, John Kerry, and the Prime Minister of Norway, Jonas Gahr Støre.
The initiative aims to mobilize the shipping industry – ports, carriers, cargo owners and others in the shipping value chain – on the path of greenhouse gas emission mitigation to align with the goal of limiting the global temperature increase to 1.5ºC.
In this respect, the Government of Spain and the multinational Maersk have formed a collaboration protocol to implement the large-scale production of zero-emission fuels for its ships. The project will generate up to 2 million tonnes of e-methanol by 2030 from green hydrogen from renewable energy plants in Spain. – As per the public release, read more here