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Carbon Disclosure Project 2011 – Iberia Report 125


mitigating and adapting to climate change.


Its six strategies to reduce greenhouse gases are: sustainable energy; sustainable transport; sustainable construction; management of waste and animal waste; forestry and land use policy; and innovation. Spain also introduced the Sustainable Economy Law in 2011 which will contribute to regulations aimed at creating a low carbon economy. And the Joint Commission Study on Climate Change recently recommended climate change legislation which includes incorporating carbon emissions in state budgets, and developing a tax system that helps to internalize the costs associated with climate change.


The EU ETS and the use of Kyoto mechanisms also play an important role in Spain’s ability to meet its Kyoto Protocol target. The second National Allocation Plan (2008– 2012), has more stringent criteria for allowances allocation than the first plan and resulted in greater annual emission reductions than the first trading period. Spain like the entire international community is looking towards the renewal of the emission reduction commitments at the end of the compliance period of the Kyoto Protocol in 2012 and the outcomes of the COP17 in Durban.


The effects of the economic crisis persuaded the government to perform two environmental policy U-turns that worried investors in one case and environmentalists in the other.


Investors in solar photovoltaic energy were concerned when the government, eager to cut its subsidy bill as a way of reducing the public sector budget deficit, decided in December 2010 to make retroactive 18


cuts in guaranteed subsidies for the sector. Environmentalists and some Spanish energy companies, meanwhile, protested when the government decided to double its aid to the Spanish coal mining sector in the coming years, giving coal power preferential access to the wholesale electricity market and therefore disadvantaging suppliers from other sources, including renewables. Gas Natural Fenosa, Iberdrola and Endesa began legal action against the European Commission’s decision to approve the Spanish plan.


The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) launched its Green Growth Strategy in May 2011 which is in line with Spain’s green job policy. It recommended that Spain should do more to reduce GHG emissions and improve energy security through reforming energy prices. Moreover, it stated that “Abolishing these subsidies would reduce the overall cost of stabilising GHG concentrations and provide stronger incentives for the transition to new renewable-energy sources. Spain still subsidizes domestic coal production for power generation, although less heavily than in the past. Petrol and diesel prices in Spain are amongst the lowest in OECD Member countries, as are its tax rates on vehicle fuels. An increase in fuel taxes, and abolition of the differentiation between petrol and diesel, would also provide greater incentives for reducing emissions and using more fuel- efficient vehicles, while also contributing to fiscal consolidation on the revenue side.”


With Spanish National elections completed in November 2011 the issue is whether policies will continue to foster the path towards a low carbon economy and a post Kyoto framework.


The politics of climate change in Portugal


By Euronatura- Center for Environmental Law and Sustainable Development


Overview of National and International Regulation for Portugal


Under the Kyoto Protocol and the European Union pledges, Portugal committed itself not to increase its GHG emissions by more than 27% by 2012, using emissions registered in 1990 as a reference. The Kyoto Protocol GHG emissions monitoring mechanisms and the implementation measures have a key role in the fulfilment of the commitments agreed in the past and also in new reduction commitments for 2020. The following main mechanisms have been put in place in Portugal:


• The “National Program for Climate Change”, which includes a set of policies and GHG public sector mitigation measures.


• The “National Plan for the Allocation of GHG Emissions Licenses”, which imposes caps on industrial sites within national borders.


• The “Portuguese Carbon Fund”, a government financial instrument to acquire Kyoto Protocol emission credits in order to ensure Portugal fulfils its Protocol commitments; it also invests in domestic emissions reduction projects.


The government information and monitoring systems predict that the country will meet its Kyoto targets. It is estimated that, in the 2008-2012 commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, Portugal will be 1% below the agreed targets. That is equivalent


to emitting 4,78Mt of CO2e less than the set target. This forecast stems from the public policies and mitigation measures proposed in the


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