THERE may be an ecological silver lining to the COVID-19 crisis.
Spain’s economy has suffered massively during the pandemic, with an expected 12.8% economic decline in 2020, according to the IMF.
But now Spain’s third largest regional economy, Andalucia, is starting to plan the rebuild of its biggest sector; agriculture.
And it is planning to take the opportunity to embed guidelines set by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, as well as the climate-neutral objectives set by the European Union into its official policy.
This planned eco-revolution is going to be a 26 step process that it predicts will create 20,000 jobs and costs about €1 billion in investments, all of which will make Andalucia one of the key players in the fight against climate change in Spain.
To start things off the Andalucian government will be launching an Interdepartmental Commission on Climate Change and an Andalucian Climate Council, with the main focuses being on water infrastructure, energy efficiency, reforestation efforts, conservation of natural spaces, and waste management.
The whole initiative is based around creating a circular economy, which means the entire process is constantly restoring and regenerating with a minimum of waste.
One of the ways they are thinking of creating this circular economy is through a Comprehensive Waste Plan, costing €447.5 million, that would put in place 153 new measures to improve waste management for municipal and private sector waste.
To transition into more sustainable energy consumption, Andalucia is asking for help from the central government to fund the transition of their current power plants into renewable energy ones, as well as a plan for the Junta to run completely on renewable energy sources in all their buildings.
Another one of the initiatives is to create a ‘green seal of approval,’ which would mean that all future development projects would have to meet sustainability guidelines and legislations set by the Junta.
Then in order to relieve drought they will be investing €575 million into hydraulic infrastructures and water purification, as well as taking action to prevent fires linked to climate change which have previously devastated areas in the province.