The President of the Government of La Rioja, Concha Andreu, has underlined that the Climate Change Law places La Rioja ´at the forefront in environmental legislation after too many years of irresponsible inaction and looking away´ and was also certain that ´we can turn the imperative ecological transition into an opportunity with this regulation that proposes adaptation to climate change and the energy transition as transversal and essential elements in the planning of all public policies´.
Andreu participated this afternoon, in the Ebro Park, in the presentation of the future Climate Change Law of La Rioja together with the Minister of Sustainability, Ecological Transition, and Spokesperson, Álex Dorado Nájera.
For the head of the regional Executive, with the approval of the future regulation in Parliament, ´the decarbonization process of the economy, the transition to a circular model, guaranteeing the rational and supportive use of resources will be facilitated; and adaptation to the impacts of climate change will be promoted, advancing in a sustainable development model that generates quality employment and contributes to the reduction of inequalities´.
As he assured, ´the greatest challenge that all present and future societies on the planet face is the impact of human action on nature´ since ´the loss of biodiversity, climate change or the degradation of ecosystems impact our living conditions and they do it much more than we think´.
The president has insisted that ´we cannot allow ourselves to fall into inaction´ but that ´we have to act decisively and ambitiously´, as, in her opinion, the Government of La Rioja is doing with the approval of the Declaration of Climate and Biodiversity Emergency, which ´comes to add and complement the efforts made by the Government of La Rioja, from the first day of the legislature, to provide the region with a suitable legal framework and effective tools to face this environmental challenge´.
The Minister of Sustainability, the Ecological Transition, and Spokesperson, Álex Dorado Nájera, has insisted on the need to influence the awareness of society. As he has commented, ´this summer has made us forcefully make visible the effects of climate change against which we have to fight. There are sectors that are aware, the progressive and leftist parties are aware, but there are still economic and social sectors that do not consider it a priority, and there are also some parties that continue to drag their feet or deny the importance of climate change and its effects or the existence of a crisis of biodiversity loss´.
On August 28, the Governing Council approved the Climate Change Bill of La Rioja, which aims to meet the challenge of the climate emergency and guarantee a just ecological transition. The initiative proposes to move towards a new energy model and towards the decarbonisation of the economy of La Rioja, placing the region on the path of fulfilling the climate commitments adopted by Spain and the objectives set by the European Union and international organizations. The bill has been drafted in collaboration with environmental, agricultural, and business organizations and responds to a request from Parliament.
The future legislation contemplates the creation of the Riojan Agency for Energy Transition and Climate Change (ARTECC) as a key body of the Government of La Rioja to promote planning activity and the management of various actions. In addition, it proposes the preparation of the Rioja Integrated Energy and Climate Plan (PRIEC), as a basic instrument to promote coordinated and coherent action to mitigate the causes of climate change in La Rioja, and the Rioja Plan for Adaptation to Climate Change (PRACC) to promote climate adjustment measures by moderating or avoiding the damage caused by climate change.
Likewise, it proposes the drafting of the Just Transition Strategy of La Rioja as an instrument to take advantage of the opportunities in activity and employment of the ecological transition towards an economy low in greenhouse gas emissions.
Another important planning tool contemplated by the new legislation is the Municipal Action Plans Against Climate Change. City councils of La Rioja with a population of more than 10,000 inhabitants must approve specific action plans against climate change before 2025 and goals are set for municipalities with more than 20,000 inhabitants in sustainable mobility and cycling.
Among the measures of the future Law on Climate Change, the creation of the Carbon Footprint Registry of La Rioja and the Inventory of Carbon Sinks of La Rioja stand out, whose management is attributed to the Riojan Agency for Energy Transition and Climate Change. It also includes the obligation to carry out energy audits of autonomously owned buildings and their facilities and provides for investments in electric recharging points, a key element for the implementation of low-emission mobility. In addition, it sets energy-saving criteria and the obligation to introduce climate criteria in terms of contracting by public administrations.
The future Climate Change Law of La Rioja joins the initiatives that the Government of Concha Andreu is promoting with the aim of launching the green agenda, moving towards an energy transition, and combating the climate crisis. These include the Riojan Agency for Energy Transition and Climate Change, the Law on Biodiversity and Natural Heritage, the extension of the protected areas of the Natura 2000 Network, the Circular Economy Strategy of La Rioja or the promotion of sustainable mobility, with initiatives such as the Rioja Bicycle Strategy.