Spain is one of the EU countries most at risk from the climate crisis, according to an alarming report from a Spanish think-tank.
Madrid-based Instituto Elcano warned in its latest report that the effects of global warming will have a devastating impact on Extremadura, one of the main producers of Iberico ham.
The region depends on acorns to raise and feed the pigs that produce it, but rainfall there has dropped by 35% over the past 50 years.
About 20% of mainland Spain is already at risk of desertification due to climate change and over-use of water, particularly groundwater extraction, the report also said.
The Doñana National Park in Andalucia, home to one of Europe’s largest wetlands, is under threat from intensive farming, Elcano also pointed out.
Spain emits about 0.8% of the world’s greenhouse gasses and accounts for 9% of the EU’s, making it the sixth largest emitter.
Per capita carbon dioxide emissions peaked at 8.47 tons in 2005, but dropped to 4.92 tons by 2021, as climate change measures kicked in and the country became more environmentally conscious.
Spain now has a Climate Change Law, passed in 2021, which commits the country to cutting emissions by at least 23 per cent by 2030, when compared with 1990 levels.
The law requires companies, banks and other businesses to present annual reports on exposure to climate risks and the measures they are introducing to contain them.
The Ministry for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge (MITECO) must also report every five years on risks, policies and measures.
Meanwhile, the Popular Party (PP) and far-right Vox are contesting the prohibition of fossil-fuel production, and the nationwide creation of low emission zones in municipalities with more than 50,000 inhabitants has not been achieved on schedule.
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