The Three Cultures of the Mediterranean Foundation was the scene, last week, of the cycle of “Conferences on climate and energy action” at the regional level that the IIDMA (International Institute of Law and the Environment) organized in different Autonomous Communities throughout 2022. The event, organized in Seville with the collaboration of the Ministry of Sustainability of Andalusia, brought together 14 speakers from the political, academic and environmental and energy law fields.
This third session focused on the communities of Andalusia, Madrid, Extremadura and the Region of Murcia. The progress of Andalusia and Extremadura in their objectives for the implementation of renewable energies by 2030 stands out, and the creation, in Madrid and Murcia, of advisory bodies on climate change. Andalusia is also the only one of these four regions to have adopted a regional law on climate change. Despite these improvements and those of other analyzed communities, the IIDMA maintains that Spain continues to lack long-term plans, inter-administrative coordination and transparency.
“The distribution of competences provided for by our Constitution in climate and energy matters gives the Autonomous Communities an essential role in respecting international commitments in the fight against climate change”said Ana Barreira, director and lawyer of the IIDMA, referring to the conclusions of the report “The role of the autonomous communities in the fight against climate change”, recently published by the Institute.
In line with this role, and following the experience of other countries in our environment, in Spain there are already several Autonomous Communities that have created expert committees on climate change. However, among the regions present at today’s conference, only the Community of Madrid has strengthened its climate governance framework with the formation of a Scientific and Technical Committee for Sustainability and Climate Change. According to Alba Iranzo, IIDMA lawyer and co-author of the report on this case, “If the creation of these bodies is necessary to influence climate and energy action, their application at the regional level fails for lack of mechanisms and necessary resources”.
After this presentation, a discussion table took place during which the regional representatives of Andalusia, the Community of Madrid and the Region of Murcia shared the progress and perspectives of climate and energy action in their territories. respective. Participants were María López, General Manager of Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change of Andalusia; Mariano Oliveros, Deputy Director General of Strategic Environmental Assessment of the Community of Madrid; and Francisco Marín, General Director of the Environment of the Region of Murcia.
Renewables, biodiversity and territory
The second part of the session focused on how to reconcile the deployment of renewable energies with biodiversity and the territory, starting with the presentation of the IIDMA reports on this subject (state and regional level). As noted, in a scenario like this, where the commitment to climate change is added to an energy crisis derived from the war in Ukraine, the push for renewable energy assumes an urgent challenge.
In its analysis, the IIDMA affirms that this reconciliation is possible as long as adequate planning is carried out and there is an appropriate legal-institutional framework. More specifically, the Institute suggests the use of ecologically degraded or disused spaces for the installation of renewable energy installations. “It is important to promote programs that facilitate the establishment of these projects in hard-to-recover degraded lands, closed landfills, old mines or industrial areas”says Massimiliano Patierno, environmental engineer at the Institute.
On the other hand, the early identification of risks is essential to avoid significant impacts on biodiversity. According to Ángel Roldán, IIDMA environmental lawyer, “The most appropriate instrument to achieve this objective is strategic environmental assessment, since it allows the study of the effects of plans, programs and policies”.
The regional representatives and specialists who formed the second discussion table discussed all this. Specifically, Manuel Larrasa, Secretary General of Andalusian Energy; Giuseppe Carlo Aloisio, General Director of Forest Policy and Biodiversity of Andalusia; David Serrano, doctor in biology and professor at the Biological Station of Doñana; and Ana Isabel Ruiz, vice-president of the energy cluster of Extremadura.
Character font: IIDMA
Reference article: https://iidma.org/especialistas-en-medio-ambiente-closuran-en-sevilla-el-ciclo-de-jornadas-sobre-accion-climatica-y-energetica-organo-por-el-iidma/