Spain’s parliament passes key climate protection law

Photo: EPA PM Pedro Sanchez

Spain is pulling ahead in the fight against climate change after parliament passed a law in Madrid on Thursday which aims to make the country climate neutral by 2050 at the latest, dpa reported. The greenhouse gas emissions are to be completely or almost completely avoided in all sectors such as industry, transport or agriculture by then.

The lawmakers of the right-wing populist Vox party voted against the Climate Change and Energy Transition Act, while the representatives of the conservative opposition abstained.

The law is "a milestone" that "has been needed for a long time," Teresa Ribera, Minister for Ecological Transition of the left-wing government, said. Alluding to the opposition's resistance, she stressed: "The most dangerous thing is not wanting to see reality, ignoring it and simply looking the other way."

Among other things, the law stipulates that by 2030 CO2 emissions should be 23% lower than in 1990 and that at least 42% of final energy consumption should come from renewable sources.

By 2050, all of the country's energy production is to come from renewable resources, and already in 2030 this share is to rise to 74%. This figure was 44% last year.

The sale of polluting vehicles is to be banned by 2040. Traffic is to be increasingly pushed out of the inner cities.

Environmental organizations such as Greenpeace and WWF welcomed the adoption, but stressed that the law was not ambitious enough.

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