Spain and Italy are the European Climate losers:Time to change strategy

Andrea Zanon Confidente
5 min readSep 11, 2023
https://andreazanon.org/

World Leaders and policy makers are getting ready to attend the COP 28 climate summit in late November which this year is hosted by the United Arab Emirate (UAE), the 7th largest oil producer in the world. This is the first time a leading hydrocarbon producer hosts the global summit. Expectations are high, after several consecutive inconclusive climate summits. At least 140 Presidents and Prime Ministers will gather in Dubai to take stock on decarbonization progress and seek to devise a low carbo economic green growth path forward.

As this is happening, many countries including Canada, the US, the UAE, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are announcing billions of dollars in new decarbonization projects from carbon capture and storage, green hydrogen, carbon trading and reforestation. Italy and Spain, on the other hand, two countries heavily impacted by climate change and variability are still soul-searching to define a cohesive green-growth strategy. These countries continue to deny the relations between human activities and the changing climate, and the governments are being lobbied by national corporations that refuse to adjust to a lower-carbon intensive economy. In so doing, they are slowing innovation and investment in a low carbon future.

Spain-Politics and Olive Oil: The winner of July’s presidential elections in Spain, the People Party (PP) spent most of April, and May campaigning denying climate change. During the campaign, Spain experienced severe heat waves with temperatures pushing toward 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit). Despite the election victory, the PP party does not have the numbers to create a government. Not even with the Far-Right party Vox, which considers climate change the biggest fraud of the century. Spain is running out of time and out of water as the country’s desertification accelerates. April was the driest month since the record dry summer of 1961. Droughts have become regular in Spain and according to the national weather authority (AEMET weather) 27 percent of the country is in severe drought, costing the economy at least one percent of GDP.

Olive Oil Inflation: How does climate variability affect the Spanish and World economy? Well, Spain is the world’s biggest olive oil producer, supplying 50% of global extra virgin…

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Andrea Zanon Confidente

International sustainable development consultant and empowerment specialist