Euskadi joins in the LIFE Urban Klima project to adapt to climate change


Basque Govt. Minister for the Environment, Territorial Planning & Housing Iñaki Arriola presented the Integrated LIFE Urban Klima 2050 project in Bilbao this morning. It is thought to be the biggest climate action project in the Basque Country for the coming years, and will involve the direct investment of €19.8 million in climate actions. 51% of that amount will be provided by the EU.

In his address Mr. Arriola stressed the approval of this LIFE project by the EU, which sets a maximum of one project per area per country per call, but “exceptionally and in spite of there already being an integrated LIFE project approved in Spain in the area of climate change mitigation and adaptation (in Navarre), the EU has approved the proposal put forward by the Basque Country".

“The consortium that is to implement this major project comprises more than 20 organisations, which are to work in coordination to achieve the goals set. They are all sound and highly experienced in combating climate change, as evidenced by the fact that their actions in the field will entail overall investment of almost €20 million up to 2025", he added.

On top of that amount there will be a further €625 million worth of climate change mitigation and adaptation actions by the score of social entities involved in the project. The project is to be led by Ihobe, a publicly-owned environmental management company answerable to the Basque Govt. Dept. of the Environment, Territorial Planning & Housing, and will involve around 20 organisations including the three Basque provincial councils, the municipal councils of Bilbao, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Donostia/San Sebastián, Bakio, Bermeo, Gernika-Lumo and Zarautz, publicly-owned companies answerable to the Basque Government and municipal authorities, several research and technology centres (AZTI, BC3, Neiker, Tecnalia and Tecnun) and the Naturklima foundation.

Urban Klima 2050 is set to transform the territory of the Basque Country through 40 coordinated climate change adaptation projects and actions over its six-year term. This will also facilitate the deployment of teh KLIMA 2050 Basque Climate Change Strategy, which has set itself the main target of reducing GHG emissions by 40% by 2030. With the EU project proposed here today, direct measures are expected to be proposed and implemented to help the Basque

Country mitigate the effects of climate change. Six main challenges are involved:

The 40 projects under which specific actions are to be taken are focused on three areas: the coast, river basins and urban areas. Pilot schemes will be set up in seven municipalities and in peri-urban areas of Urdaibai, the coast at Debabarrena and Rioja Alavesa. There will also be projects based on the basins and mouths of the Butrón, Oka, Ibaizabal, Deba, Urumea, Zadorra, Baia and Ebro rivers.

40 actions in all three provinces

The actions envisaged include the recovery of degraded areas, the setting up of publicly-run electric bike networks in Álava and Urdaibai, the re-use of waste from vine pruning as biomass in Rioja Alavesa, nature-based solutions for the three provincial capitals, the building of a green belt in Debabarrena, the installation of a hydrothermal plant in Urdaibai, encouragement for self-supply in Donostia, measures to prevent flash floods in Bakio, Donostia and Álava and the complete restoration to its natural state of the beach at Laga. A centre will also be set up to coordinate all the data and information on climate change in the Basque Country.


Organisations taking part in the Integrated LIFE URBAN KLIMA 2050 Project.

  1. Ihobe, a publicly-run environmental management company answerable to the Basque Government
  2. Department of the Environment, Territorial Planning & Housing (Governing Board of the Urdaibai Reserve)
  3. Health Department.
  4. Department of Economic Development & Infrastructures (Directorate for Ports and Maritime Affairs)
  5. Provincial Council of Araba-Alava
  6. Provincial Council of Bizkaia
  7. Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa
  8. Municipal Council of Bakio
  9. Municipal Council of Bermeo
  10. Municipal Council of Bilbao
  11. Municipal Council of Donostia-San Sebastián
  12. Municipal Council of Gernika
  13. Municipal Council of Zarautz
  14. Centro de Estudios Ambientales (Centre for Environmental Studies - Vitoria-Gasteiz Municipal Council)
  15. URA (Basque Water Agency)
  16. EVE (Basque Energy Association)
  17. Euskalmet (Directorate for Emergencies)
  18. NaturKlima, a Gipuzkoa-based climate change foundation
  19. BC3, Basque Centre for Climate Change
  20. AZTI
  21. NEIKER
  23. TECNUN