The Basque Country participates in the production of Europe’s first cross-border climate change strategy


Bilbao is hosting the “4th International Colloquium of Climate Change in Mountain Areas” organised by the Pyrenean Climate Change Observatory (OPCC) of the Working Community of the Pyrenees (CTP). The meeting will be an opportunity to publicise the Pyrenean Climate Change Strategy (EPiCC), a pioneering plan in Europe focused on cross-border climate change action that also includes different mitigation activities. The document is the result of two and a half years of work by the CTP territories; the Principality of Andorra and the governments of Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Aragon, Catalonia, Occitanie, Navarra and the Basque Country, currently presiding over the organisation.  

During the inauguration, Vice-Minister for Environmental Sustainability Amaia Barreda underlined the role of the Basque Country as one of the 22 global regions that make up the ‘Alliance for Climate Action’ supported by the United Nations, which is an “international recognition for our commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050”. The Basque Government is committed to intergovernmental collaboration and networking to achieve genuine multilevel climate governance. It is worth remembering regions and local bodies apply 70% of all EU law.

The Basque Country is presiding over the Working Community of the Pyrenees (CTP) comprising seven cross-border territories that will share this unique European strategy in Bilbao

The Basque Country is invested in deepening is bonds with the entire Pyrenean Working Community, tightening its connections with other administrations, governments and regional and local initiatives to achieve the goals. The vice minister of Environmental Sustainability underlined the need to “reduce greenhouse gases more and more quickly, increase climate funding and speed up changes in our territory to better adapt to the impact of climate change”. In this regard, Amaia Barredo highlighted that “by the end of the 21st century, temperatures at the foot of Aneto, of the Ory or the Pica d’Estats may be 4.0ºC to 6.3ºC higher than those registered 20 years ago”, underlining the significance that “the gradual rise in temperatures in Pyrenean regions is higher than general global warming”.

In the case of the Basque Country, the vice-minister talked about the different tools created by the publicly-owned company of the Basque Government Ihobe that include everything from diagnostics to mitigation and adaptation to climate change. Amaia Barredo also drew attention to the good work done by the Basque network of sustainable towns and cities - Udalsarea 2030 - as a success story in the roll-out of regional policies at the local scale and the LIFE Urban Klima 2050 project to implement the roadmap designed to tackle the climate and energy change by means of multilevel governance.

A trans-Pyrenean alliance to tackle climate change
The Pyrenean Climate Change Observatory (OPCC) will monitor and analyse the climate change phenomenon in the Pyrenees to help the territory to adapt to its effects. Its purpose is to be a benchmark platform on knowledge of climate change in mountain ecosystems.

The trajectory of the Pyrenean Climate Change Observatory, through the final stage of ADAPYR, led the development of the Pyrenean Climate Change Observatory will be explained throughout the meeting hosted by the Basque city. The meeting will also be an opportunity to present lines of action for different sectors, the latest innovations in observation and climate through the Pyrenean climate bulletin and advances in citizen science and environmental education.

As part of this project, the Basque Country has helped to identify good practices for integrating climate change policies at the local level. To be specific, it proposed 14 recommendations which, throughout six phases, promotes the adoption of local and regional policy measures in the Pyrenees. The recommendations focus on applying these measures in small and medium-size municipalities, mainly in the Pyrenees, and analyses potential source of funding to carry out the urgent role our of local climate change policies.