Many Americans can’t wait to experience Joe Biden’s, mostly because of his promises, such as the Green New Deal worth $2 trillion. While that remains a dream to them, some countries are already at it. Their governments already have carbon-neutral targets and big programs revolving around reducing energy prices, cutting emissions, and creating new jobs in the process.
A good example is Spain, which is doing quite well regarding not over-relying on fossil fuels. Through the leadership of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, the country has registered significant progress towards that this year and is among the leading nations in Europe. According to the government, Spain will be carbon neutral by 2050, and the rate at which it is shifting from coal is admirable.
It has a three-year plan that will see it spend about €27 billion on green energy. For it to shift from fossil fuels to green energy entirely by 2050 is about €750 billion. By that time, it plans to have reduced emissions by 90% through its decarbonization strategy. It will have recovered wetlands of up to 50,000 hectares and reforested about 20000 hectares. Besides, renewable power’s contribution to its energy mix will have changed from 20% to 97%.
Enacting supportive laws has already started with the approval of a climate change draft law by the cabinet. It contains goals on energy efficiency and renewable power that surpass those set by the EU at large. It also eliminates direct fossil fuel subsidies and bans any new project revolving around gas, oil, or coal extraction.
Other actions include decommissioning up to 69% of the existing coal-fired power plants and installing new onshore wind. Last year, its number of new installations was the highest among all countries.
As far as employment and the economy are concerned, the decarbonization plan’s impact will be positive. For instance, the workforce will increase by 1.6%. How is the project different from another one that goes way back to the 2000s? The then solar gardens abolishment saw the sector’s credibility decrease and jobs lost too. Therefore, the country has a huge task ahead to convince investors that the current legal framework is reliable and history won’t repeat itself this time around.
Teresa Ribera, who serves as the ecological transition minister, is hopeful. She believes that the country will hit the European commission’s 2030 targets set by a mile. She will also advocate for more ambitious policies in the country and entire Europe.
Europe at large is on the right track towards renewable energy, having registered more power from renewable than coal this year, which is the very first time it is happening. According to Ursula von der Leyen, the European commission president, her wish is to see the continent become the first one to be carbon-neutral globally. The continent plans to spend up to €1 trillion in the next ten years to achieve it.