New Spanish Climate Law: urgent, although it can be improved

  • The sustainability specialist company SUST4IN brings together authorities, investors, NGOs, unions, lawyers, companies and other actors in a webinar about the draft Spanish Law on Climate Change and Energy Transition.
  • Valvanera Ulargui, Director General of the Spanish Office for Climate Change, Juantxo López de Uralde, President of the Commission for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge and the Vice President of the European Investment Bank, Emma Navarro, have been the keynote speakers.
  • The event has shown the broad consensus that exists in Spain on the urgency of passing the Law, although there may be improvements.

Madrid, June 30, 2020. The sustainability specialist company SUST4IN has organized a  webinar in which the responsibilities, challenges and opportunities of the new Spanish Law on Climate Change and Energy Transition, which is currently in parliamentary procedure, have been discussed, and the Spanish Plan for Adaptation to Climate Change 2021-2030, which was in public consultation until this week.

The welcome to the attendees and introduction to the event has been delivered by the founder and managing director of SUST4IN, Marcio Viegas, who then has given way to the presentation of the first keynote speaker.

Valvanera Ulargui, Director General of the Spanish Office for Climate Change of the Ministry for Ecological Transition, has commented “The law, aligned with the objectives set by the European Green Deal, will allow us to attract investment, minimize negative impacts and take advantage of important opportunities that offers the ecological transition in job creation, activation and modernization of the economy or improvement of industrial competitiveness, without leaving anyone behind.”

The next keynote speaker has beeen Juantxo López de Uralde, Deputy of Unidas Podemos for Álava and President of the Ecological Transition Commission in the Congress of Deputies, in whose speech he has highlighted: “The crisis we are experiencing may fall short compared to the situations to which the climate emergency can lead us, if we do nothing to avoid it. That is why it is so important not to fall short of the ambition of the climate change law. A law that will be a fundamental tool for the green transformation of the economy and the production model ”.

Then, the first round table has been formed by Daniel Vicente Viondi, Deputy of the Socialist Party (PSOE) for Madrid and First Vice President of the Commission of Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge in the Congress of Deputies, who believes that the Law will be approved this year as a step towards making Spain a better country, Carlos de Miguel Perales, Partner Emeritus and Specialist Lawyer in Environmental Law at Uría Menéndez and Professor at the ICADE Law School, who has suggested that the Law incorporate the perspective of life cycle and even a section of definitions, Joaquín Nieto Sainz, Director of the Office for Spain of the International Labor Organization, who has emphasized the pioneering and important aspect of the chapter on just transition and job creation, Mar Asunción Higueras, Head of the WWF Climate and Energy Program, which has called for more ambition and urgency to take advantage of the stimuli towards decarbonization, and Manuel Gutiérrez-Mellado, Head of Institutional Business at BlackRock, who has invited investors to review their portfolios in relation to climate risks.

In the second round table José Manuel Marques, Head of the Financial Innovation Division of the Bank of Spain,has confirmed the Bank of Spain’s commitment to the obligations of the Law, Francis Cabezos, Secretary for the Environment and Movements Social of the Federation of Services to the Citizenship of Workers Commissions, has reiterated the need to leave no one behind, Arancha García, Director of the Industry and Environment Area of ​​ANFAC (Spanish Association of Manufacturers of Automobiles and Trucks), has welcomed the Law, namely because it brings more certainty for the automotive sector,  Gonzalo Saenz de Miera, Vice President of the Spanish Group for Green Growth (Grupo Español de Crecimiento Verde) and Director of Climate Change at Iberdrola, has said that the Law provides legal certainty and consensus to achieve more investment and Arturo Fraile Izquierdo, Regulatory Manager of the BBVA bank, has valued the Law as an important advance to achieve a green, inclusive and resilient reconstruction.

The third keynote speaker was Emma Navarro, Vice President of the European Investment Bank, who said “The Law is going to be a very useful and very necessary instrument to tackle the climate transition and it is also a new example of the Spanish ambition on climate change mitigation and adaptation. ”

Closing the event, Marcio Viegas has summarized: “The event has shown that there is a broad consensus in Spain on the need for ambitious, fair and urgent solutions to the climate crisis. The pandemic has accelerated this urgency, especially from the investor side. The draft of the new Spanish Law on Climate Change and Energy Transition can be improved and should include, for example, the agricultural sector, the perspective of the life cycle of products or even some definitions, but it is good and agreed upon. We ask the Congress for urgency in its approval. ”

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