The Lehendakari will act as the co-president of The Climate Group
The Climate Group has proposed that the Lehendakari act as its co-president, in recognition of the policies to fight climate change that have been implemented in the Basque Country
The objective of The Climate Group is to promote policies and technologies that help reduce CO2 emissions. The organisation has focused on the Basque Country as a leader in the fight against climate change and, as a result, has nominated the Lehendakari, Patxi López, as its co-president. The Climate Group is a non-profit coalition of regional and local government bodies and 80 of the world's largest companies. The Lehendakari described his nomination as an "opportunity" to "disseminate" the Basque Country achievements in energy efficiency and sustainability throughout society, and an opportunity to "take advantage of the experiences" of others and learn from them.
"The Basque Country is a leader in the fight against climate change", said Mark Kenber Webber, the CEO of The Climate Group. He went on to explain that climate change is not only a "risk", but also "a real opportunity" for the business and financial sector and for governments that have "a strategic vision". In Webber's view, the Basque Country possesses just such a vision. The Lehendakari has accepted The Climate Group's offer of co-presidency and considers it an "opportunity" to both showcase the Basque Country's policies for fighting climate change and to learn from what is being done in other regions.
The Lehendakari met with Mark Kenber Webber, the CEO of The Climate Group, at the Lehendakaritza (Vitoria-Gasteiz). The meeting was also attended by Bernabé Unda, the Minister for Industry, Innovation, Trade and Tourism; Pilar Unzalu, the Minister for the Environment, Territorial Planning, Agriculture and Fishing; and Xavier Viteri, a representative of the Basque corporate group Iberdrola, which is considering its incorporation into The Climate Group.
The Lehendakari's nomination as co-president demonstrates that the Basque Country is one of the "most committed" European regions, in the words of López himself. He also affirmed that his nomination represented a "challenge" and an "opportunity" to show that "in the Basque Country, we are genuinely capable".
The Climate Group was created in 2004 and has three presidents, located in Europe, the United States and Asia. Since the group's creation the Basque Government has been part of the EV20 program, which is a lobby organisation set up within The Climate Group consisting of 20 governments and leading companies involved in the development of electric vehicles.