Balearics launch pioneering plan to phase out emissions

Balearics launch pioneering plan to phase out emissions

The Balearic islands’ government has launched a pioneering plan to phase out greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, potentially setting itself on a collision course with the Spanish government.

Under the green manifesto, new diesel cars will be taken off the car market in Ibiza, Majorca, Menorca and Formentera from 2025 – the same year that all street and road lighting will be replaced by LEDs.

Solar panels will be installed on all buildings with roof spans of more than 1,000 square metres – car parks, hospitals, supermarkets and sports stadiums – coal plants will be phased out and, by 2035, all car hire fleets on the islands will be electrified.

Francina Armengol, the president of the Balearics’ socialist-green government, said their territorial limits made them “an ideal space to promote electromobility and to expand renewable energy so that it eventually becomes our only source of power.”

“We are very aware that plenty of the measures in the law we are announcing today demand efforts from the public and private sectors,” she said. “It has to be this way if the law is to be more than a mere statement of intent.”

Joan Groizard, the islands’ director-general for climate change said the move put them on a path to confrontation with Madrid, and his government was studying the legal implications “very carefully”.

“There is a live debate about what regions can and can’t do, and we are working very practically on the legal side of this,” he told the Guardian.

“We can’t ratify the Paris agreement on our own but we can take a decision to adhere to it. Climate change is already having a big impact on our islands and hopefully our actions can have a knock-on effect elsewhere.”

Water bills on the archipelago have surged recently due to more frequent droughts and storms, while warming waters have brought seasonal jellyfish plagues and degraded marine ecosystems.

Spain’s prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, has promised to bring forward a delayed national climate plan this year, as climate change concerns have grown.

But environmentalists have been alarmed by governmental attempts to seek a royal decree preventing the shutdown of coal plants in the country’s north.

Source: The Guardian

Date: March 2018

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