The new Canarian Government has approved the Declaration of Climate Emergency in the Canary Islands, an agreement that commits the regional Government to streamlined policies to deal with the global threat. The declaration is at the instigation of the Department of Ecological Transition, Combating Climate Change and Territorial Planning, directed by José Antonio Valbuena, and its main purpose is to speed up the procedures and approval of the Canarian Climate Change Law, which Valbuena calls “a fundamental tool for the future of the biodiversity, ecosystems, economy and future generations in the Canaries”.

The legislation will encompass objectives including the Canaries becoming 100% reliant on renewable electricity, as is currently the case only in El Hierro, as well as implementing carbon absorption mechanisms in Canarian marine, land and air environments, reducing energy demands to sustainable levels, promoting increased energy efficiency, supporting research into climate change and creating educational and information spaces for the public.

An additional benefit for Valbuena is that the new legislation will also favour the creation of a green economy and a whole new area of employment, creating a niche sector of job opportunities yet to be explored here. The new law will be compatible with legislation passed by the national Government, and the regional authorities believe it will have the broad consensus of both Canarian society and the islands’ scientific community.

The seven Cabildos and 88 Ayuntamientos in the archipelago will also be involved in the implementation process, and now that so many are of the same party, the PSOE, which indeed is also in power nationally, there is fair prospect of effective policies being not just passed but implemented to adapt to the impact of climate heating and to attempt to mitigate it.

Source: Janet Anscombe

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