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LIFE Urban Klima: 40 actions to adapt to climate change

ZABALA participates in the largest climate action project in the Basque Country financed by the European LIFE Programme, the Urban Klima 2050 Integrated LIFE

ZABALA Innovation Consulting will participate as a partner in a new project funded by the European LIFE programme, the Urban Klima 2050 Integrated LIFE. This project is considered to be the largest climate action project in the Basque Country for the next few years, and thanks to which 19.8 million euros will be directly invested in climate actions, which will be 51% financed by the European Union.

The Urban Klima 2050 project will transform the Basque territory by coordinating a total of 40 projects and actions to adapt to climate change in the six years of its duration. In addition, it will facilitate the effective deployment of the Basque Country’s Climate Change Strategy, KLIMA 2050, which has set itself the main objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions data by 40% by 2030.

The Minister for the Environment, Regional Planning and Housing, Iñaki Arriola, presented the Urban Klima 2050 Integrated LIFE project in Bilbao on Wednesday 4 December. In his speech, Arriola valued the approval of this LIFE by the European Union since it establishes a maximum of one project per call, area and country, and “exceptionally, despite the existence of an integrated LIFE approved in Spain within the area of climate change mitigation and adaptation projects, specifically in Navarre, the European Union has approved the proposal presented by Euskadi,” said the Minister of the Environment.

“The consortium of companies that will carry out this important project brings together more than 23 organisations that will work in a coordinated manner to achieve the objectives set. All of them have great solvency and experience in the fight against climate change, as evidenced by the fact that all of their actions in this area until 2025 represents a global investment of almost 20 million euros,” stressed Arriola.

To this amount will add another 625 million euros in additional actions to adapt to and mitigate climate change, carried out by the twenty or so partner entities participating in the initiative.

The project will be led by the public company Ihobe of the Department of the Environment, Territorial Planning and Housing, and twenty entities will participate in it, among which are the three provincial councils, the city councils of Bilbao, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Donostia/San Sebastián, Bakio, Bermeo, Gernika-Lumo and Zarautz, several public companies of the Basque Government and municipalities, as well as technology and research centres (AZTI, BC3, Neiker, Tecnalia and Tecnun) and the Naturklima foundation.

It is hoped that direct measures will be proposed and implemented to help the Basque Country mitigate the effects of climate change. To this end, the main challenges are six:

  • Build cross-cutting actions to integrate different resilience tools in cities and villages
  • To make the administration an example in the fight against climate change.
  • To carry out innovative actions applicable in the sectors of interest
  • Generate knowledge to incorporate into decision making
  • Create participatory processes to co-design solutions with key stakeholders and citizens
  • To achieve the empowerment of citizens in order to achieve a lasting commitment to the environment.

The 40 projects in which concrete actions will be undertaken focus on three areas: coastline, river basins and urban areas. Pilot experiments will be carried out in seven municipalities and in peri-urban areas of Urdaibai, the coast of Debabarrena and Rioja Alavesa. In addition, in the rivers Butrón, Oka, Ibaizabal, Deba, Urumea, Zadorra, Baia and Ebro, projects will be carried out in their basins or at their mouths.

40 actions in the three territories

Among the planned actions, degraded areas will be recovered, public networks of electric bicycles will be created in Alava and Urdaibai, waste from pruning vineyards will be reused for use as biomass in Rioja Alavesa, and nature-based solutions will be sought for urban environments in the three capitals, a green ring will be created in Debabarrena, a hydrothermal system will be installed in Urdaibai, self-consumption will be encouraged in Donostia, measures will be implemented to prevent floods in Bakio, Donostia and Álava, and the integral restoration of Laga beach will be sought. In addition, a centre will be created to coordinate all the data and information related to climate change in the Basque Country.

Entities participating in the Integrated LIFE project URBAN KLIMA 2050

  1. Ihobe, Public Society for Environmental Management (Basque Government)
  2. Department of Environment, Spatial Planning and Housing (Patronage of the Urdaibai Reserve)
  3. Department of Health
  4. Department of Economic Development and Infrastructure (Directorate of Ports and Maritime Affairs)
  5. Foral Deputation of Araba-Álava
  6. Provincial Council of Bizkaia
  7. Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa
  8. City of Bakio     
  9. Bermeo Town Hall
  10. Bilbao City Council    
  11. City of Donostia
  12. Gernika Town Hall
  13. Municipality of Zarautz
  14. Centre for Environmental Studies (Vitoria-Gasteiz City Council)
  15. Basque Water Agency, URA
  16. Basque Energy Body, EVE
  17. Euskalmet (Emergency Management)
  18. NaturKlima, Gipuzkoa Climate Change Foundation
  19. BC3, Basque Centre for Climate Change        
  20. AZTI              
  21. NEIKER        
  22. TECNALIA
  23. TECNUN