A bold move by the Balearic islands’ government to phase out greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 is being considered in a new green manifesto, which includes banning diesel cars and changing all street lighting to LEDs.
Other plans include
- buildings with roof spans of more than 1,000 square metres – car parks, hospitals, supermarkets and sports stadiums will host electricity generating solar panels.
- Coal plants will be phased out by 2035,
- All car hire fleets on the islands will be electrified.
Francina Armengol, the president of the Balearics’ socialist-green government, said “It has to be this way if the law is to be more than a mere statement of intent.”
Joan Groizard, the islands’ director-general for climate change said the move put them on a path to confrontation with Madrid, and his government was studying the legal implications very carefully. There is a live debate about what regions can and can’t do, and this requires careful consideration.
He states “We can’t ratify the Paris agreement on our own but we can take a decision to adhere to it. Climate change is already having a big impact on our islands and hopefully our actions can have a knock-on effect elsewhere.”
The Balearics government says that if its climate plan is blocked, it will refuse to upgrade its Alcúdia coal plant in Majorca in time to meet a 2020 deadline for new EU emissions limits.
“If we sit on our hands and do nothing then on 1 January 2020, the plant will not be able to work, because it will be in breach of the EU legislation,” he said. “We are hoping it won’t go that far. But we do have pockets of sovereignty – or power – that we’re planning to use if we need to.”