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Spain aims to be carbon neutral by 2050

Wednesday, 14 November, 2018 - 21:50

The Spanish government has announced an ambitious plan to ban the sale of diesel and petrol cars by 2040 and fully ‘decarbonise’ Spain’s economy by 2050.

The fifth largest economy in Europe plans to produce 70 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030. And “by 2050, the electricity system will have to rely exclusively on sources of electricity from renewable energy,” with the aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 90 percent below 1990 levels, said the Ministry of Ecological Transition.

The plan, proposed by Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s Socialist government, commits to setting aside 20 percent of the national budget for the fight against climate change, installing 3,000 MW of renewable energy annually and retrofitting 100,000 buildings a year for energy efficiency. All public buildings constructed after 2025 must be nearly carbon neutral.

According to the draft law, the “exploration, research and exploitation of hydrocarbons” will be banned and subsidies and incentives for the fossil fuel industry will also cease.

At present, Spanish emissions are 17 percent above 1990 levels and according to the Spanish newspaper El Pais 26 percent of the greenhouse gases emitted in Spain come from cars, with these emissions, if left unchecked, set to rise by 15 percent by 2030, according to government forecasts.

Introducing the text in Parliament Industry Minister Reyes Maroto said that the deadlines set by the law “are a conservative, prudent and negotiable horizon.” He also wanted to reassure industry that it’s only “a working document” and negotiable. Pedro Sanchez defended the ban on the sale of non-electric cars on Wednesday saying: “We have to be courageous in everything that has to do with climate change,” when asked about the matter in the halls of Congress.



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