The Basque Government showcases its climate change best practices at IFAT Munich trade fair


This morning, the Basque Government’s Director of Climate Change and Natural Heritage, Adolfo Uriarte, presented the Basque Country’s advances in climate change mitigation and adaptation at IFAT Munich in Germany. The trade fair is being held from 30 May to 3 June and is the leading international event in environmental technologies and innovative solutions for water, waste and raw materials management.

During a panel on climate adaptation best practices, organised by the Bavarian State Ministry for the Environment, Uriarte showcased the Life Urban Klima 2050 project and the measures implemented to tackle the main climate risks facing the territory. “Heatwaves in the urban area, drought in the primary sector, river flooding and rising sea levels are the main threats,” he stressed. He pointed out that 60% of the Basque population lives on the coast and coastal municipalities and infrastructures must be prepared for the climate challenge.

Uriarte also highlighted the Basque Government’s work, through Ihobe, on developing state-of-the-art instruments to help citizens, companies and municipalities in their transition. “We have the tools to act: from km-x-km regionalised climate scenarios, to vulnerability studies and municipal scale risk, carbon footprint tools, planning methodologies, nature-based solutions and strong commitment to ecoinnovation, with grants both for the private sector and local authorities; all of the tools are co-designed with the stakeholders that must implement them,” he stressed.

The Basque Country in the ENCORE Network

Since its founding in 1966, IFAT has established itself as the most important meeting place for the environmental solutions sector in Europe, with nearly 150,000 visitors and over 3,300 exhibitors. The Basque Country is at IFAT thanks to its being a member of ENCORE, a network of European regions consisting of 122 regional governments and whose priority lines of action are in climate action, the circular economy and biodiversity. The Basque Government, as an advanced region in innovative solutions, was invited to take part. It has cutting-edge instruments for climate mitigation and adaptation, and which can inspire other regions and cities.

The Basque Country has belonged to the ENCORE network right from the start, nearly two decades ago, and is currently a member of the Executive Committee until 2024. Working together helps to ensure the effective application of EU environmental policies at regional level, a point stressed by Adolfo Uriarte. “We cannot deal with those major challenges alone. We need networks such as ENCORE. And we need other regions to share experiences, learn, embark on collaborative project between European regions with complementary or common challenges, and lead climate change adaptation collectively”.