Avoiding extreme climate change demands clean energy, but Catalonia has limited powers to act

August 4, 2015 06:31 PM | Kyle Brown

The Catalan Government was one of 14 regional executives to sign the 'Under 2 Memorandum of Understanding' in May 2015 as part of a pact to reduce CO2 emissions by 80-95% by 2050 among the signing territories. This goal is an effort to mitigate the worst effects of climate change coming from greenhouse gas emissions. In recent years, the Catalan Government has been working toward improving energy efficiency and developing a greater supply of renewable energy through various initiatives and action plans. However, the biggest changes necessary for Catalonia to adopt the renewable, low-emissions energy model it desires cannot be implemented by the Catalan Government, but would have to come from the Spanish Government instead. Overall, the biggest challenge facing the adoption of renewable energy is being able to produce it at prices competitive with conventional sources of power.

Climate change agreement signed by California, Ontario, Catalonia and 9 other regional governments

May 20, 2015 09:15 PM | ACN

On Tuesday, ahead of the United Nations conference on Climate Change to be held in Paris this autumn, Catalonia signed a 'Memorandum of Understanding' in Sacramento (California), together with 11 other US states, Mexican states, Canadian provinces and regional governments. By taking this step, the Catalan Government and the other signatories commit to cut total greenhouse emissions to 80%-95% below 1990 levels by 2050 or to cut per capita emissions to below 2 metric tons during the same timeframe. The 12 founding signatories to the agreement span seven countries and three continents, with a total population of 100 million people and about $4.5 trillion in combined GDP. Apart from Catalonia, the signatories include: California, Vermont, Oregon and Washington (USA); Acre (Brazil); Baden-Württemberg (Germany); Baja California and Jalisco (Mexico); Ontario and British Columbia (Canada); and Wales (UK). More states, nations and cities are expected to join the agreement in the coming months.

Harvard expert Adam Price: Catalonia “would have done better” as an independent state

January 28, 2015 10:37 PM | ACN / Nisse Laiho-Murdoch

Adam Price, the former Member of Westminster Parliament and Harvard University expert, believes it “would be very difficult” to argue that an independent Catalan state would not be prosperous. In fact, he thinks Catalonia “would have done better” without being part of Spain. Price is an acclaimed economist and political expert and the author of a report written for Harvard University on the economic potential of smaller countries. In the report Price examines how smaller European economies have a higher chance of gaining economic success than larger ones. Studying small European nations, Price believes, without a doubt, that an independent Catalonia would have huge potential in the long run. However, he also stresses that “transition cost” are another debate.

Founder of Wikipedia: the online encyclopaedia "protects and expands knowledge" of Catalan

June 30, 2014 10:18 PM | ACN

Speaking at the V Fórum Impulsa in Girona last Friday, the founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, discussed how the online encyclopaedia "protects and expands knowledge" of Catalan. In fact, it was one of the first languages to launch articles on the site, after English and German, and has now already amassed more than 400,000. Wales has highlighted Catalonia’s "passion for its language," and compared it with the Welsh Wikipedia, which is also “extremely active” despite Welsh being a relatively little spoken language. The creator of the free encyclopaedia was one of the featured speakers at the fifth edition of the Fórum Impulsa in Girona.

The Spanish Government aims to “centralise” the external action services of the Autonomous Communities

March 1, 2013 10:36 PM | CNA

The Spanish Government has presented its project to approve an External Action Law aiming to “centralise services” and to have the Autonomous Communities’ external action “coordinated and subordinated” to the principles and objectives of the Spanish Foreign Affairs Ministry. The Spanish Foreign Affairs Minister, José Manuel García-Margallo, has “invited” the Autonomous Communities to integrate their teams into those of the Spanish embassies. However, he also recognised that many Spanish embassies and consulates lack business services to assist companies and attract foreign investment. The Catalan Government’s offices abroad are mostly focused on these economic objectives.

Firefighters from Catalonia will train their counterparts in Ireland, France and Wales

August 2, 2012 11:00 PM | CNA / David Tuxworth

Firefighters from Catalonia will be sharing their knowledge and experience of different types of fire. Catalan firefighters have experience with various kinds of fire because of Catalonia’s geographic diversity. The organisers of the bespoke courses designed for the varied conditions in Ireland, France and Wales, have stated that the accumulated experience “should not just remain in Catalonia but be taught internationally”.