Urban Klima 2050 positive about its progress despite the pandemic


The LIFE Integrated Urban Klima 2050 project continues to advance despite the difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. “The project has made positive progress despite the current climate,” acknowledged Mª del Mar Alonso, the Climate Action Director at Ihobe, the Basque Government’s environmental management agency that is leading the project, during the Management Committee meeting with the 20 partners to analyse the advances in the third half-year of the project.

Those advances mean that the targets have been met in the different action areas such as sectoral and territorial planning. As regards the integration of climate change in the urban and territorial planning, work is being carried out to apply climate action criteria in municipal emergency plans. Therefore, the ‘weather/climate risk index tool’ is being implemented with the preparing of a daily weather analysis catalogue and a severe event catalogue, along with a wind impact study.

Furthermore, progress has been made in applying climate action criteria in health policies, with a programme starting up to monitor mosquitos as disease vectors; in energy, with the setting up of working groups with the participant municipalities; and in water, with the gathering and validation of precipitation and flow series.

On the other hand, there is a focus on nature-based solutions, such as the case of Vitoria-Gasteiz, where the nature-based solutions have been catalogued and threats assessed.  Green infrastructure actions include the drafting of the environmental recovery action project for the Tonpoi area (Bermeo); improving the farming belt in the Aramangelu/Basaldea park (Vitoria-Gasteiz); interventions in phytoremediation to study earth movements and for an environmental watch, also in the capital of Álava; reforesting Mount Oberan; and the wilding of the area around the Artikutza dam.

Empowering local authorities is another of the LIFE Integrated Urban Klima 2050 project. Special mention should here be made, along with Udalsarea 2030, of the ‘GHG Emission Calculation Tool’ at supramunicipal level  to cover supramunicipal  associations and entities, and development agencies; the 2021 local climate eco-innovation grant call; or, as part of the  Compact of Mayor, the  day of recognition of 21 Basque municipalities for their commitment and the National Path to the Glasgow COP: Driving new climate governance models” session.

As regards climate governance, an online workshop was held with 20 experts who worked on defining a climate governance model at supramunicipal urban level.

Thematic working groups to maximise synergies between the partners

On the other hand, three new working groups – Governance, Complementary Actions and New Financing Opportunities, and Natural Solutions – have been set up to maximise synergies between the partners. The goals of those working groups include being involved in the co-design of a specific governance model, contributing innovative experience to the design, improving the leadership and coordination of the Public Administration, identifying new financing sources to develop new projects or disseminating success stories to be replicated.

About LIFE IP Urban Klima 2050

The Basque Country’s largest climate action project will transform Basque territory by means of 40 climate change mitigation and adaption actions between 2019 and 2025. It is led by Ihobe, answering to the Basque Government’s Ministry of Economic Development Sustainability and the Environment. It is working with twenty or so entities, including two other Basque Government areas (its Ministry of Health and the Directorate of Ports and Maritime Affairs), the three provincial councils and the local councils of Bilbao, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Donostia/San Sebastián, Bakio, Bermeo, Gernika-Lumo and Zarautz, two publicly-owned companies of the Basque Government (EVE and URA), along with research and technology centres (AZTI, BC3, Neiker, Tecnalia and Tecnun) and the Naturklima Foundation.

With a budget of €19.8 million, it will also facilitate the effective deployment of the Basque Country’s Climate Change Strategy-KLIMA 2050.