The Canary Islands Council of Government approved the Canary Islands Climate Action Strategy (ECAC), at the proposal of the Regional Minister for Ecological Transition, the Fight against Climate Change and Territorial Planning, which will be in force for 20 years, with the possibility of revision every ten years to update the scenarios and their objectives.
The Minister for Ecological Transition, José Antonio Valbuena, indicated that the fight against climate change “is global” and that each territory must develop actions aimed at the “challenge” of confronting climate change and trying to “reverse and mitigate” the situation.
He pointed out that the strategy sets “long term” targets of 20 years and a goal of decarbonising the islands by 2040 in a context in which by the end of the century the Canary Islands are expected to have an average temperature of 5ºC more, higher temperatures and rising sea levels, less but more intense rainfall, more heat waves and almost six months a year of tropical nights.
The minister added that work must be done to “resist climate change in the best possible way” by achieving less dependence on energy consumption, researching the development of new energy sources and identifying the risks and vulnerabilities of the islands.
In this regard, he warned of the high land occupation in the archipelago and a progressive loss of “tourist comfort”, an increase in heat waves, loss of water quality and biodiversity, which will result in fewer tourists and therefore less generation of employment and wealth.
The Strategy, which will also be extendable by the Executive once these 20 years have passed, is articulated in section 14 of Law 6/2022, of 27 December, on Climate Change and Energy Transition in the Canary Islands, which defines the framework for climate action planning in the archipelago.
Its draft was submitted to a public participation process in 2022, where a large number of the allegations received were incorporated into the final text.
ROADMAP FOR THE CANARY ISLANDS
Thus, it is a framework instrument for regional planning in the area of climate action that aims to establish a roadmap for moving towards a climate-neutral and climate-resilient society by 2040 and to establish the set of measures in which the contribution of the Canary Islands to the fulfilment of climate action commitments will be specified.
The ECAC also sets out the determinations to which all sectoral plans, programmes and policies must conform in order to achieve the objectives of the Canary Islands Climate Change and Energy Transition Law.
It therefore sets out the economic and social transformations necessary to respond to the climate crisis, in a coherent and integrated manner, and involves all sectors of the Canary Islands economy and society, as well as taking advantage of opportunities that contribute to improving the competitiveness and modernisation of the economy, Valbuena said.
It also seeks sustainable growth and a socially just and inclusive transition in order to guarantee job creation, improve the quality of life of Canarian society and protect the environment.
The strategy will be developed through the future Canary Islands Climate Action Plan and the Canary Islands Energy Transition Plan, as well as the island and municipal climate and energy action plans.