• Climate Change

LIFE INTEGRATED PROJECTS (IP), The Basque Country’s largest climate action project for the coming years, is working on strategic actions and policies, as well as specific actions in different municipalities in order to adapt the territory to the effects of climate change. 

About the initiative

Urban Klima 2050 is the largest climate action project developed in the Basque Country. It aims to implement the Climate Change Strategy of the Basque Country to 2050, KLIMA 2050, in the urban context. To this end, the project aims to advance climate governance at all administrative levels through the development of action plans linked to the strategy as well as to promote the integration of climate change in different sectoral policies, such as land use and urban planning, health, water resource management and energy. Urban Klima 2050 is a demonstrative and action-oriented project in which case studies are being developed as laboratories for adaptation to climate change. The application of organic farming, the renaturation of a dam, the creation of an urban marsh, or a flooded forest, are some examples of planned actions that will be implemented over 6 years.

The project, coordinated by the Basque Government’s public environment agency, Ihobe, also involves the regional agencies and departments responsible for the management of water resources, energy, health, and ports. Other members of the project are the three provincial governments, 7 municipalities, and 5 research and technology centers.

Urban Klima 2050

In its third year, the LIFE IP Urban Klima 2050 project, which is the Basque Country’s largest climate action project for the coming years, has results to prove that it is making progress in its objective of ensuring the resilience of the Basque territory to climate change. 

Since its launch in 2019, the project has deployed strategic actions and policies, as well as specific climate change mitigation and adaptation actions in different Basque municipalities. The above-mentioned, together with the involvement of different institutions and organisations, makes this project a true example of multi-level climate governance. 

Strategic actions and policies 

Among the strategic actions and policies developed in this initial period of the project, the following stand out:
• Review of the Basque Country Climate Change Strategy – KLIMA 2050.

• Preparation of the ‘Energy Transition and Climate Change Plan for the Basque Country 2021-2024’.

This plan, which is a preliminary step to the Basque Country’s first Energy Transition and Climate Change Law, currently being processed, has specific objectives:
– Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30%.
– Reach a 20% share of renewable energy in final energy consumption.

Climate change mitigation and adaptation actions

Moreover, Urban Klima 2050 reaches the local level with specific actions planned for the project spanning 6 years, involving 20 partner entities, with the aim of adapting the territory to the effects of climate change. These actions are planned in the three Basque capitals (Vitoria-Gasteiz, Bilbao, and Donostia/San Sebastian), as well as in other urban and rural municipalities, especially those located on the coast, where 65% of the Basque population lives.

The most significant developments include:

Urban and peri-urban developments:
• Recovery of the coastal area of Tonpoi in Bermeo (Bizkaia) for public use and with climate change adaptation criteria.
• Naturalisation of the Artikutza dam, and recovery of a plantation with native species to replace a previous Lawson cypress forest in Donostia/San Sebastian.
• Drawing up a catalog of nature-based solutions (NBS) for Vitoria-Gasteiz.
• Installation of photovoltaic panels at 4 different points in the city of Donostia/San Sebastian for self-consumption.
• Creation of a pedestrian and cycle path in the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve (Bizkaia).
• Improving biodiversity in the green belt of Vitoria-Gasteiz.
Progress in river basins:
• Intervention and improvement of the Errekatxulo regatta riversides in Donostia/San Sebastian.
• Restoration in protected areas of the Natura 2000 Network in Labastida (Alava) with restoration work on the river Ebro.

Progress in coastal areas:
• Interventions to identify alternatives to minimise damage caused by the combined effect of waves and tides on Zarautz’s seaside (Gipuzkoa).
• Installation of a coastal video surveillance system on Mount Igeldo (Donostia/San Sebastian) to monitor La Concha and Ondarreta beaches.
• Installation of ARMS (Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures) equipment to study the effects of climate change on the Biscay coast.
• Installation of a pH sensor for monitoring ocean acidification on the Basque coast.
• Mapping of seagrass meadows in Basque estuaries.

40 actions and 20 partner entities 

With a budget of €19.8 million, the Basque Country’s largest climate action project will transform the Basque territory by coordinating a total of 40 actions in the period 2019-2025. It is led by the Public Company Ihobe, part of the Basque Government’s Department for Economic Development, Sustainability and the Environment, which works with around twenty entities, including two other areas of the Basque Administration (Department of Health and the Directorate of Ports and Maritime Affairs); the three Provincial Councils (Alava, Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa); 7 city councils (the three Basque capitals): Bilbao, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Donostia/San Sebastian), and the municipalities of Bakio, Bermeo, Gernika-Lumo and Zarautz; two Basque public companies (Basque Energy Agency – EVE and Basque Water Board – URA), as well as technology and research centers (AZTI, BC3, Neiker, Tecnalia, and Tecnun) and the Gipuzkoa climate change foundation, Naturklima. 

Key facts

  • GDP (US$): 3,398 M$
  • POPULATION: 2.199.711
  • The project represents a direct investment of 19.8 million euros through the EU-LIFE project and 51% co‑financing from the European Union. In addition, the project is expected to contribute to mobilising an additional 625 million euros.

 Find the details of all activities on Urban Klima official website: https://urbanklima2050.eu/en/


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