Zero Carbon in Catalonia

Zero Carbon in Catalonia

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CAT’s Paul Allen was in Barcelona last week giving the keynote presentation at the ‘Catalan Conference for a Sustainable Energy Future Without Nuclear Energy’.

Aimed at exploring pathways that will allow Catalonia to move on from nuclear power and fossil fuels, the event was run by the Group of Scientists and Technicians for a Non Nuclear Future, founded in the late 1970s by a group of young professionals worried by the dominant view that ‘nuclear energy will solve all the world’s energy problems’. The group’s manifesto ‘Per uns Països Catalans lliures de la nuclearització’ (For a Nuclear Free Catalonia) was signed by hundreds of academics and researchers and delivered to the Catalan Government and Catalan Parliament. In the wake of the Chernobyl accident, the group decided to become a legal association, and annual conferences have been held in Barcelona ever since.

Long-time member of the group Dr Josep Puig opened the event, and Ferran Civit, Member of the Catalonian Parliament, presented an overview of the Catalan Law on Climate Change, which aims to drive the transition towards a net-zero emissions economy (see below).

Paul Allen was there to outline CAT’s Zero Carbon Britain technical scenario, showing that we have all the technologies we need to reach net zero emissions by mid-century, plus CAT’s new Zero Carbon Britain: Making it Happen report which explores ways in which we can overcome the barriers to change.

The event ended with a debate exploring how Catalonia can reach net zero emissions – looking at how industrialised societies can move on from fossil and nuclear fuels.

Paul Allen said: “I have long been impressed by Catalonia’s commitment to the kind of ambition on climate demanded by the Paris Agreement, and so I was honoured to be asked to present CAT’s work at this vital event. Citizen engagement is a key factor in making it happen – and Catalonia has shown strong commitment to this.”

Conference organiser Josep Puig said: “We selected Zero Carbon Britain because we have known CAT’s work on energy since the 1970s. We especially value their experience of addressing complex problems like climate change.”

Catalan Law on Climate Change

Approved by the Catalonian Parliament in August 2017, the Catalan Law on Climate Change has five purposes:

  • Getting Catalonia to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, favouring the transition towards a low carbon economy.
  • Reinforcing and broadening existing strategies and plans.
  • Promoting and guaranteeing the coordination of all the Catalan public bodies, and fostering participation from citizens and social groups.
  • Becoming a leader in research into and application of new technologies, and reducing Catalonia’s dependence on external energy resources.
  • Making Catalonia visible in the world, cooperating on projects and participating in global forums on climate change.

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