Spain is coming out of the catacombs, but it is still far from the top positions in the ranking against climate change

Spain has emerged from the catacombs in recent years to fight climate change, but it still lags far behind countries such as Denmark and the UK, which lead the bottom of the rankings. Yale University Environmental Efficiency Index (USA).

Yale assesses the “state of sustainability in the world” based on data every two years. In terms of climate change, Spain has improved from 180th to 83rd place, “up 47 places,” the report said. That is, it was sunk in 130th place in the previous rating.

What this review does is study each country’s trends in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and forecast a net zero emissions target for 2050. In terms of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere, Spain ranks 44th, with an improvement of 60. areas, but in terms of decarbonisation of the economy by the middle of the century, it ranks 144th.

The 2050 forecast “reflects the countries’ path to zero emissions by the middle of the century for four gases: CO2, methane, fluorinated gases and nitrous oxide.” Technicians are calculating the rate of increase or decrease in 2010-2019 and extrapolating the trend towards 2050. “Extrapolation serves to measure which states have begun to reduce emissions to achieve this goal,” they explain. If they go at a pace that makes this goal possible.

And this scale shows that the Spanish economy has taken small steps when steps need to be taken: Trends analyzed by Yale They said the reduction was modest before the big break caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. But the International Energy Agency has already calculated that the 2021 economic boom was driven by a resurgence in global emissions. The first separate assessments for Spain are still to come.

From the previous rating, Spain adopted the Law on Climate Change, approved in May 2021, which stipulates that the country as a whole (its factories, transport, power plants, houses, agricultural operations …) Should emit at least 23% less in 2030 than in 1990. That means 66,000 kilotons less gas in seven and a half years. At the time of the stop due to COVID, the only one where there was less CO2 compared to the reference year was a total of 275,000 kT, 5% less than in 1990.

“Despite recent commitments, action by most countries is not needed,” said the review, which recalled “the effects of climate change on the environment, health and the economy.” Scientists at the International Panel of Experts (IPCC) have already estimated that “what is needed” by 2030 is a 50% reduction in the world. And they hastily repeated it just two months ago: “This is it or never.”

“Only a few countries aim to achieve climate neutrality by 2050,” warn American University analysts. Denmark, which has halved emissions in recent decades, is leading the way in mitigating climate change. Small economy and easier to decarbonize? The second place was taken by the United Kingdom, which in 2020 left 50% of emissions compared to 1990, the report said. The third step of the podium goes to Finland.

As a warning, the paper dares to say that “the United States has lost valuable time in mitigating climate change” and points to “regression during the Donald Trump term.” Countries that go in the opposite direction according to this index are China, India and Russia: “rapid growth in greenhouse gas emissions,” the review highlights.

If you look at the general index of environmental activity, Spain turns out to be much greener than it was during the climate crisis. He occupies 27 positions, improved by 10 positions. This is due to the fact that this index combines, in addition to climate control, other variables in which Spain performs much better, such as the viability of its ecosystems or the impact of the environment on health.

Ecosystem viability includes the protection of biodiversity and habitats, be it terrestrial or marine ecosystems or species conservation. Spain ranks 24th in the set of all these sections. And is ninth on the world list for biodiversity. Nevertheless, the document contains clear warnings for the country: in terms of loss of forest cover, meadows and swamps, the country is beyond the 100th position.

“Despite the poor state of ecosystems, the 2022 index offers some hope,” Yale said. “Efforts to protect critical habitats and enhance their viability are growing, albeit at a slow pace.”

However, in general, “the world has not achieved the significant goal set out in the Aichi Convention on Biological Diversity, which stipulates that by 2020, 17% of the Earth’s surface must benefit from the environment. “In 12.22, only 12.6% has been achieved.

Source: El Diario





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