This article has been updated to include comment from Greenpeace EU
Recent reports have suggested that the Spanish government is currently preparing a Law on Climatic Change which would seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% in 2030 and by 90% in 2050, while targeting 70% renewable electricity generation by 2030 and 100% by 2050.
According to several media reports, the Spanish government is currently preparing a draft plan which would serve to transition the country’s electricity system to renewable energy sources by 2050. Specifically, a draft of the country’s new Law on Climatic Change was submitted to parliamentary groups and interested sectors earlier this week by the country’s Ministry for the Ecological Transition.
The primary measures enshrined in the draft legislation include reducing the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by 20% compared to 1990 levels by 2030, and by 90% by 2050.
Further, Spain would seek to ensure that 70% of its electricity generation was sourced from renewable energy sources by 2030, and 100% by 2050. To that end, the government would promote the installation of at least 3 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy capacity annually between 2020 to 2030.
Other measures including banning new fracking licenses and aborting existing licenses beyond 2040, preventing new subsidies or economic incentives that could favor the consumption of fossil fuels, and pushing the public sector to divest from companies that develop fossil fuel-related activity.
“I fully commend the Spanish government on showing real climate and energy leadership,” said James Watson, Chief Executive of SolarPower Europe. “This type of ambition is needed to bring the new clean economy into being, and it shows other large economies exactly what they should be doing – aiming for more renewables in power and cutting the greenhouse gas emissions of their economies. I hope that this will be the first of many leading nations to make similar commitments to delivering a low carbon economy for their citizens.”
The move comes only a month after the Spanish government scrapped the much-reviled “sun tax” which had imposed a levy on solar self-consumption — stymieing residential solar growth in a country perfectly situated to benefit from the technology. The decision was put into motion by the new government, specifically, the new Minister of the Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, who — as part of the action to scrap the sun tax — introduced a range of measures intended to boost the country’s transition to a low-carbon economy.
The current draft plan being considered will also set aside a fifth of the national budget for fighting and mitigating the impacts of climate change. Spain will also move to shut most of its coal mines.
“The Spanish draft law has many key good things for the climate in it, such as a ban on oil & gas exploration and fracking, a priority access for renewables to grids, a long-term ban of ICE cars by 2040 or a long-term 100% renewable electricity target by 2050,” said a spokesperson from Greenpeace EU. “It also integrates carbon budgets and regular reviews. So overall it puts Spain in the right direction to fight climate change. Yet it lacks ambition and scope: the targets are not enough, they are too low and too late. In particular, the 2030 emissions target is a meagre -20% from 1990 levels, and -90% by 2050. Totally unacceptable for a developed economy when the IPCC warns of the need to take global emissions down to zero by 2050 if we want to have reasonable chances to avoid 1.5ºC global warming.”