24 MAR 2021

The #PorElClima Community and Iberdrola join forces to promote climate action in Spanish municipalities

  • With Ayuntamientos #PorElClima, they will support municipalities to align their actions with the Paris Agreement and European Union targets
  • The city councils that join this free online platform will be able to measure their carbon footprint and develop an action plan to improve their environmental profile with the support and guidance of the initiative
  • The proposal was presented in a session that also addressed the opportunities that European funds offer for sustainable municipal recovery

Spain is one of the countries where climate change will have the most impact. A reality that urges municipalities to step up their mitigation and adaptation measures since the consequences of this emergency will be most evident in them. In response to this challenge, the #PorElClima Community and Iberdrola are launching the initiative Ayuntamientos #PorElClima, which seeks to promote climate action by city councils.

The PorElClima Community and Iberdrola join forces to promote climate action in Spanish municipalities.

It is a free online platform that offers information, tools and good practices aimed at helping city councils make progress on their path towards decarbonisation. The project was created with the aim of helping municipalities to align their strategies with the Paris Agreement and with the objective set by the European Union to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55 % by 2030.

Ayuntamientos #PorElClima comes into operation with the belief that it is in the city councils where the policies closest to the local area and its residents are deployed, as they are responsible for planning and managing areas that have a decisive impact on global warming such as urban planning, mobility and the environment...

Along the same lines, one of the objectives of the new platform is to make it easier for local government to become part of the Spanish Network of Cities for the Climate, the section of the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FEMP) made up of local governments that are integrating climate protection into their policies. To this end, Ayuntamientos #PorElClima has the collaboration of the FEMP, which is also part of the driving group of the #PorElClima Community as well as the Spanish Climate Change Office.

A user-friendly, intuitive and rigorous site

Among the many tools offered by Ayuntamientos #PorElClima, is a carbon footprint calculator, developed taking into account the specificities of municipalities based on the GHG Protocol methodology. To access it, councils only have to enter a series of basic data in a web form. With this information, both their direct and indirect emissions are analysed.

Based on this study, it will be possible to prioritise the areas in which improvements can be made to reduce the CO2 footprint. In addition, they will receive an action plan with specific solutions and priorities aimed at reducing both their impact and the costs associated with electricity and fossil fuel consumption. Throughout this process, they will be supported and advised by experts from the #PorElClima Community.

On the other hand, Ayuntamientos #PorElClima will also provide each municipality with a public profile in which it can detail the actions undertaken, thus highlighting the efforts made. Finally, they will have access to mobilisation and visibility campaigns, as well as information days where examples and practical cases of climate action by local councils, proposals from associations in the sector and innovative initiatives will be shared.

In the words of Gonzalo Sáenz de Miera, Director of Climate Change and Alliances at Iberdrola, "far from being a barrier to economic development, sustainable growth improves competitiveness, opportunities, job creation and prosperity. In the specific case of municipalities, they have a great opportunity, with climate action financed with European funds, to improve their prosperity and demographic growth scenario by offering quality employment to their citizens as well as a better quality of life."

"There is no time to lose in the fight against the climate emergency. We’re at the beginning of the decisive decade and in a key year. The upcoming Glasgow Climate Summit requires all social actors to review our compliance with the Paris Agreement, and it is imperative that municipalities across the country act with diligence and a sense of urgency. Not only because of their responsibility towards their residents, but also because of the great impact they have on the environment and their capacity to set an example", says Víctor Viñuales, Executive Director of ECODES, the organisation that acts as the executive secretariat of the #PorElClima Community.

European funds, an opportunity for municipal climate action

Ayuntamientos #PorElClima was presented in a session in which also examined the opportunities offered by the Next Generation EU programme, as well as the other European funds already available so that town councils can start a sustainable recovery.

This was held online and was attended by Valvanera Ulargui, Director General of the Spanish Climate Change Office, who stressed that the government's response to the unusual situation we are experiencing must be ambitious, diverse and coherent. "Not a single cent of the recovery funds can be allocated to projects that are not aimed at human development and socio-economic development. We must focus on mitigating and adapting to climate change, setting targets for energy efficiency, renewables, decarbonisation... To do this, we need a joint effort, involving both the Administration and society. And local councils have a fundamental role to play in building the green cities we need now, not in 2050," he said.

Eli Fernández, Director General for Equality and Institutional Policy of the FEMP, highlighted the experience and capacity of Spanish municipalities in budget management. "It is not a question of arguing about competencies, but of highlighting our efficiency in the execution of European funds. We have the necessary knowledge and agility, as well as the willingness to help make the country's recovery quick and solid. European funds are essential for the municipalities, but through our action we are helping the country as a whole," he explained.

The session was also attended by Guillermo Dorronsoro, from Zabala Innovation Consulting; Teresa Muela, from the Andalusian Federation of Municipalities and Provinces; Javier Benayas, Councillor for Urban Development, Transport, Town Planning and Sustainability of Soto del Real (Madrid); Luisa F. Martín, Director of the Provincial Energy Agency of Ávila, and Juan Carlos Castillo, from the Navarre Federation of Municipalities and Councils.