Europe has strengthened its commitment to carbon neutrality despite the emergence of COVID-19 in 2020
On 1 January, a key decade begins for the planet. A decade in which governments and institutions will have to go at full throttle in their race to decarbonise the economy and support green energy.
Over this past year, COVID-19 has not – against all odds – put a stop to the major powers’ commitment to climate neutrality. You could even say that it has been strengthened.
The European Union has maintained its roadmap, the European Green Deal, and this September decided to take a step forward by raising the target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from 40% to 55% by 2030.
A great way to celebrate the first anniversary of the European Green Pact,” acknowledged European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen just a few days ago.
It was also Europe that, after the first wave of the pandemic, signed an economic recovery plan for Union member countries, which laid the foundations for a more sustainable Europe, with the largest stimulus package ever financed through its budget, totalling 1.8 trillion euros.
This plan highlights the support for climate transition that will be provided by the different governments of the EU countries, and pays special attention to the fight against climate change, to which it will dedicate 30% of the funds, the highest percentage in the history of the European budget.
The European Union strengthens its commitment to the planet by allocating 30% of the recovery plan’s funds to support the climate transition to be carried out by the various governments.
The Spanish Government also focuses on the energy transition in its Recovery Plan presented in October. In line with the Agenda for Change, 2030 Agenda and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, it plans to mobilise nearly 72 billion euros from the Next Generation EU fund over the next three years, more than 37% of which will be earmarked for “green” investment. All with a view to achieving a 100% renewable energy system.
This year has presented major challenges for the Spanish energy sector, which played a key role during the State of Emergency announced in March. The sector had to redouble its efforts over the course of those weeks to guarantee the supply of energy to homes, businesses, residences, hospitals, and so on; a task that was successfully accomplished thanks to the contingency plans put in place.
In this context, the sector is in the process of adapting to new models that will enable it to meet the objectives of climate neutrality by 2050. To this end, it has an increasingly extensive regulatory framework that aims to achieve these objectives within the set deadlines.
Spain has equipped itself with a regulatory framework that will enable it to achieve these objectives within the set deadlines.
An example of this is the PNIEC (National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan) 2021-2030, approved by the Spanish Government, which regulates the economic regime of renewable energies for electricity generation facilities and establishes the framework for future renewable facilities.
There is also the Climate Change and Energy Transition Act, which sets the course for achieving energy neutrality by 2050.
The year 2021 is presented as the first of a decade focused on decarbonisation and recovery. A recovery that many are already committed to carrying out in a fair and sustainable way so as not to leave anyone behind..
Governments and institutions around the world have intensified their post-pandemic action plans. In the opening speech at the recent Climate Ambition Summit, UN Secretary General António Guterres called on “the world’s leaders to declare a state of climate emergency in their countries until carbon neutrality is achieved” and stressed the urgency of “reducing global emissions by 45% by 2030”.
In 2021 there will be an important event for the environment, the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, COP 26.
Next year there will also be an event that is always important for the environment, the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, COP 26, which will finally be held in November, and at which new commitments will undoubtedly be made. The European Union’s position is clear, but what China and the United States do may prove decisive.
Multilateralism and global engagement between everybody – governments, the private sector and civil society – are key to a sustainable recovery and to climate objectives becoming a reality. So that there are no winners and losers, except for only one victor, the planet.