The Basque Region—Spain’s Basque Region is arguably the most proactive region with regard to the environment and climate change. The Region has developed a Basque Environmental Strategy for Sustainable Development, publishes periodic reports on the state of its environment, and is home to the renowned Basque Center for Climate Change (BC3).
The Basque Environmental Strategy for Sustainable Development is composed of a series of Environmental Framework Programs (I-IV). The first Environmental Framework Program was implemented in 2002, and each lasts approximately three to four years. This allows the region to reevaluate what its problem areas are and what the most effective way of combating climate change is given any recent developments in technology or research.
The main objectives of the Environmental Framework Program are depicted in the image below:
The Basque Region periodically publishes its “State of the Environment of the Basque Country” report. As a result of this ongoing monitoring of the environment, the following conclusions can be made about the state of the environment in the Basque Region since the implementation of the Basque Environmental Strategy for Sustainable Development:
The Basque Center for Climate Change is home to some of the country’s most prolific scientists and environmentalists, including Maria Jose Sanz Sanchez, the Center’s Scientific Director.
Address: Sede Building 1, 1st floor, Scientific Campus of the University of the Basque Country, 48940 Leioa
Telephone: +34 94 401 46 90 ext. 178
Castile-Leon Region—Castile-Leon’s landscape is flat and elevated, which helps make it a leader in wind energy production and farming. This region is the country’s largest producer of wind energy with an installed wind power capacity of 5,560.01 MW. The large number of wind farms in Castile-Leon is mostly a result of the feed-in tariff scheme that Spain use to have. During Spain’s economic crisis, many of these feed-in tariff schemes were suspended. However, the wind farms that were built continue to function and Castile-Leon’s success in wind energy production could serve as an incentive to once again implement such policies as Spain recovers financially.
Being that Castile-Leon contains vast areas of farmland, it is essential to its environment that farm machinery be fuel-efficient. During its course, the PIMA TIERRA Plan encouraged swapping older, less efficient farm tractors for newer ones. This Plan was highly successful in Castile-Leon, and has aided in the reduction of carbon emissions.
The Castile-Leon region is also home to a wide variety of wildlife, many of which inhabit the Guadarrama Mountains. In 2013, the Guadarrama Mountains were named a national park, thus legally protecting the area. Furthermore, the Law 30/214 of 3 December on National Parks aims to “considerably strengthen and consolidate their protection.”
Within the autonomous Castile-Leon Regional government is the Ministry of Development of Environment. The Director’s name is Juan Carlos Suarez-Quinones.
Address: c/ Rigoberto Cortejoso, 14, 7th Floor – CP: 47014 – Valladolid
Telephone: 983 419 000
Madrid—The city of Madrid is the country’s capital and the largest in population with over three million inhabitants. As a result, Madrid has high levels of carbon emissions. Spain’s biggest cause of carbon emissions is transportation. In order to reduce its carbon emissions, Madrid is making an effort to streamline its methods of transportation and make them more environmentally friendly. One way of doing this is to implement hybrid buses into Madrid’s city bus fleet. In 2016, the city received 51 hybrid buses that are within the European Union’s suburban and short distance Class II regulations. Madrid has also adapted the ISO 14001, the internationally recognized Environment Management System, to its subway system in order to provide a guideline for its own procedures. Both of these measures aim to reduce carbon emissions in Spain’s most problematic sector, giving a renewed sense of hope for Spain’s environment and breathing fresh air into efforts that were stalled by the financial crisis.
The Minister of Agriculture, Food and the Environment has her office in the city of Madrid.
Address: Plaza de San Juan de la Cruz, Madrid
Phone: 91 597 60 68