At COP26, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez took part in the first plenary session. He announced Spain will increase its climate budget to €1.35billlion per year, from 2025.
Pedro Sánchez recalled that, since the last conference held in the Spanish capital in 2019, “the certainty of the catastrophic risks” of the climate emergency has grown.
Financing poorer countries
In light of this scientific evidence, the Spanish PM called for “greater ambition” in the goals of the fight against climate change and “backing” these goals with economic resources. This he said will enable society to see the ecological transition “not as a threat, but as a great engine of inclusive economic growth”.
Fulfilling the goal of financing the poorest countries with $100 billion per year, so they too can join the energy transition is one of the “litmus tests of COP26” in terms of “restoring trust between the countries of the North and the South. Spain will do its part”, assured Sánchez.
Increase the climate budget in Spain
In line with this goal, Sánchez announced Spain will increase climate finance by 50% from 2025. “Our aim is to reach €1.35 billion per year from 2025” in financial aid to less developed countries, so that they can face a sustainable and just energy transition”, he said.
Spain will also donate 20% of its new Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) to vulnerable countries. This equates to a minimum of 350 million to the IMF’s Poverty Reduction Facility and the rest to the new Resilience and Sustainability Fund. The latter has not yet been created.
Spain already announced a contribution of €30 million to the United Nations Adaptation Fund in 2022. All of these resources will help the less advanced economies to “invest in the technologies that will lead us to a greener and more sustainable future”, the Spanish PM stressed.
Greater political determination needed
Sánchez also stressed the need for greater political determination. Further, he urged immediate action to implement a new international order that recognises the role of all agents – governments, citizens, companies and the financial sector – as essential actors for change.
The Spanish PM said “this decade is key” in that it manages to “align short-term ambition with a long-term vision”. By this he was referring to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and keeping the G20-backed target of 1.5ºC of global average temperature rise within reach.
In order to achieve this, he called for the abandonment of fossil fuels, the protection of biodiversity and the preservation of the oceans and Antarctica. These to be coupled with a commitment to renewable energies, energy efficiency, clean mobility, the conservation and restoration of our ecosystems and urban rehabilitation.
How has Spain reacted to date?
Sánchez informed COP26 that Spain has reduced coal-fired electricity generation by 90% in the last four years. It is aligning public and private investment with the goal of climate neutrality, and doing so “with dialogue and social cohesion”. This, said Pedro Sánchez, is essential because “the transition must be fair or it will not be”.
Joint and coordinated effort
The head of the Spanish government also called for joint and coordinated work, so that COP26 can be a turning point that promotes a real change of course for the planet through urgent, solidarity-based action. An action “that closes inequality gaps and allows the benefits of climate action and model change to be perceived”.
He wants all public and private agents to come together in the creation of appropriate frameworks for adaptation policies. This is particularly important in countries such as Spain that are especially vulnerable to extreme phenomena.