Spain could turn into desert landscape this century

by Deborah Cater
Spain could become a desert landscape is action is not taken soon

International environmental organisations draw attention to the risk of extreme desertification in Spain. Greenpeace, WWF and the European Environment Agency warn up to 80% percent of Spain could turn into a desert landscape within this century.

The environmental organisations deliberately chose 17th June to draw attention to this. This is the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought. It is becoming increasingly clear how dire this problem is in Spain. Spanish news site RTVE.es writes on Thursday more than two-thirds of Spain is currently suffering from a shortage of precipitation and higher temperatures.

What is desertification and how serious is this problem for Spain?

Desertification is the term used for both the advancing or expanding desert landscape and the creation of new desert areas. Desertification is often caused by climate change or by the overexploitation of the land by human activity.

The World Wildlife Fund in Spain also warns all the ingredients are currently present for desertification. “The effect of climate change, erratic precipitation, periods of extreme drought, very high demand for water resources and forest soils used for agriculture or ranching all play a role in this problem.”

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The European Environment Agency is also concerned. According to them, the Iberian Peninsula is the European region most affected by climate change.

Europe must push for more ambitious climate change policies

Greenpeace predicts between 75% and 80% of Spain could become desert if nothing changes. There is also water scarcity in 70% percent of all waters in Spain. Greenpeace therefore calls for a more ambitious climate change policy in Europe.

According to them, it is important emissions reduce by at least 55% by 2030. Also, emissions should be zero by 2040. Greenpeace also says that Spain must make a case for the millions of illegal wells that extract large water flows from the current stock.

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