The Basque Country spearheads a call by 45 regional governments at COP27 for action and for greater climate financing

2022 November 10
  • The Basque Government delegation at COP27 in Egypt has today taken part in a joint event of Regions4 and Under2 Coalition, the two leading international networks in the field of climate
  • The "Regions Adapt" report was presented during the event and sets out over 300 climate change adaptation actions from around 30 regions. They include the Basque Country and its advances in Life Urban Klima, the territory's largest climate action project, are highlighted
  • The Basque Country, which is one of the 22 regions with greater climate ambition recognised by the United States, will be highlighting at COP27 the legislative framework being constructed with the Plan and the future Basque Energy Transition and Climate Change Act; and its climate action instruments, such as the Kostaegoki report

The Basque Government delegation, led by its Deputy Ministry for Environmental Sustainability, Amaia Barredo, is now at the Climate Summit-COP 27 in Egypt. It has today taken part in an event during which the "Declaration of the Regions" was presented, and organised by the two leading international networks in climate and the environment: Regions4, which the Basque Country chairs; and Under2 Coalition, where it is a member of the Executive Committee.

The "Declaration of the Regions for COP27" is signed by 45 regional governments and international networks. It sets out the regions' demands for climate action to be sped up and for the greater financing that the climate and energy transition is going to require, “with climate justice and with nobody left behind”, as the Deputy Minister stressed in her speech. Barredo also highlighted the important role of sub-state actors in the major international agreements: “There is a pressing need to modernise the governance ecosystem, so that regions can be heard at this type of summits and can be part of the solution, as we are already being, and even with greater climate ambition than the states,” she added. Barredo then pointed out that local regions and authorities apply and implement 70% of the mitigation measures and 90% of adaptation policies.

Indeed, the “Declaration of the Regions for COP27” is calling for the main political leaders to recognise the key role that regional governments play in the response to the climate crisis and the need to take urgent measures to mitigate and adapt to climate change. The signatory regions are demanding greater financing and involvement in the decision making and for "the Parties to drive the inclusion of sub-state governments in the decision-making, implementation and monitoring processes, and to be considered as fundamental governmental actors, with specific targets, that are credible and ambitious in the long term".

The two international networks that organised the event are very important to the Basque Country. Regions4 is the network of regional governments for sustainable development. It has just celebrated its 20th anniversary, with the Basque Country in the chair, and with over 70 regional governments in its different climate action, biodiversity and 2030 Agenda programmes. Under2 Coalition is made up of over 260 governments from around the world, which represent 1,750 million people and 50% of the world economy. The Basque Country has been a member of the Under2 Coalition right from the start and is currently on its Executive Committee.

"Regions Adapt" progress report

During the event organised by Regions4 and Under2 Coalition, the "Regions Adapt Progress Report 2021-2022” was also presented. The report contains 322 climate change adaptation actions of 32 regions from 16 countries, including the Basque Country. Regions Adapt is the first global initiative for regional governments to plan, embark on specific actions, cooperate and report on their progress in terms of adapting to climate change. It was launched in 2015 at the Paris COP21 and over 70 regions from the five continents, impacting around 300 million people, are now participating.

In the last two years, according to the report, 177 climate change impacts have been recorded, with the five most common being: drought and hydric stress; thermal stress and extreme heat; torrential rainfall and flooding; the raising sea level and coastal flooding; and coastal erosion.

However, regions are already acting to address that situation by means of measures to adapt to the negative effects of climate change. Between 2021 and 2022, 72% of the RegionsAdapt members have deployed an adaptation plan, 19% have one in the pipeline, while 9% have still to develop one. In total, 71% of the regions have at least an adaptation target; and 31% have quantifiable goals or a monitoring framework.

The Regions Adapt Progress Report 2021-2022 also highlights some of the leading regions’ actions being implemented around the world. They include a risk assessment of the rising sea level in the Basque Country. “Over 55% of the Basque population live in coastal areas, and therefore the climate change adaptation of those zones is one of the priorities of the LIFE Urban Klima 2050 project," explained Deputy Minister Barredo.  "Video-surveillance and weather forecasting systems have been set up to prevent risks in coastal areas and the new information is being integrated in the risk prevention plans. That initiative includes a pilot project in Zarautz, which is focused on its promenade, in order to reduce the combined effect of waves and tides. In 2021 an alternative action study was conducted in rigid environments at Zarautz beach, and a second initiative is under way to analyse the impact of climate change on energy infrastructures," she explained.

Agenda at COP27

The Climate Summit-COP27 is being held at the Egyptian city of Sharm El Sheikh until 18 November, even though the Basque delegation plans to return on the 14th. During their time there, the delegation members will take part in different events and hold bilateral meetings with key regional governments and international authorities for the Basque Country, such as the governments of Quebec, Jalisco, Flanders, Baja California Sur and Lombardy, and entities such as the Assembly of European Regions and the European Committee of the Regions. 

The Basque Country, which is one of the 22 regions with greater climate ambition recognised by the United States, will also be highlighting at COP27 the legislative framework being constructed with the Plan and the future Basque Energy Transition and Climate Change Act; and its climate action instruments, such as the Kostaegoki report on the vulnerability, risk and adaptation of the Basque coast to climate change, among others.
Link to the Declaration of Regional Governments for COP27

Link to Progress Report Regions Adapt 2021-2022



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Politicians attending the event
Other guests
  • Imanol Goenaga, Environment Advisor of the Basque Government