When it was first proposed that Spain have a Climate Change Law, the world was different. This was more than a decade ago and the Paris Agreement had a few years left to be approved. The European Union was beginning to understand that climate change was important, but it barely sensed the challenge. Obama was sensitive, but his industry and financial elites did not imagine the scale of the challenge. The OPEC countries looked the other way. And China … what does China say about this? He wondered in the corridors of the climate summits.
A decade later, the EU has understood that to modernize the economy is to digitize it and green it. Biden has decided to become a new leader in the ecological transition, announcing million-dollar investments and requesting reincorporation to the Paris Agreement. China plans the conversion towards renewable energies, and there is no investment fund of a certain magnitude that does not appeal to companies to incorporate the risk of climate change in their forecasts and move from the brown economy to the green one.
If we listen to what science says, all these plans are insufficient. They have neither the ambition nor the speed that would be desirable to accelerate the Great Transition. However, as a whole, they have two virtues: to draw a path of no return and to permeate all sectors.
Something similar happens with Spanish law. While the result of the negotiation has known little to environmental organizations and various opposition groups, the Government defends it as much as possible. It has been precisely this same tension that has helped to move forward, and it will continue to push and bring speed and ambition to the transition. But this is not, in my opinion, the most important thing. The figures will need to be reviewed in the light of events and the best available knowledge.
The most important thing is that the law ensures that nothing and no one is left out. If there is no public or private budget, or legislative initiative, business strategy, financial initiative or research plan that can ignore it, its success will be resounding and there will be no going back. It is very possible that when this happens it will no longer be enough, and the objectives will have to be reviewed to align them with the challenges of the moment, but by then there will be no going back and no one will be able to look the other way.