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Asteklima, the first Basque Country Climate Change Week, features 100 activities to appeal to all audiences

As well as the main event – the ‘Change the Change’ International Conference to take place in San Sebastian – other activities have been organised in 49 Basque municipalities to raise awareness of a global problem. Exhibitions, workshops, seminars, micro-meetings and boat trips are part of an extremely varied lineup from 1 to 10 March.

The fight against climate change will be brought to public attention through exhibitions, workshops and micro-meetings for all audiences in 50 Basque municipalities. Ihobe, the public environmental management company of the Basque Government, Gipuzkoa Regional Council and San Sebastian City Council, in collaboration with other entities such as URA-Basque Water Agency, Visesa, AZTI, Neiker, Tecnalia, the Aclima cluster, Itsas Mater Museoa, BC3, Iberdrola, Ecodes, the Ekoetxea network of environmental centres, Kristina Enea Fundazioa, and UNESCO-Etxea will organise almost 100 initiatives to raise public awareness of this global problem. All these activities will take place during Asteklima, the first Basque Climate Change Week, scheduled for 1 to 10 March, the highlight of which will be the ‘Change the Change’ International Conference.

San Sebastian will host this event from 6 to 8 March, set to be one of the year’s most significant on the subject of global warming. While prestigious speakers invite listeners to reflect and to search for solutions, 49 Basque towns and cities will be running activities of their own, to appeal to all audiences.

There will be a total of 86 initiatives: 37 in Álava, 26 in Bizkaia and 23 in Gipuzkoa. Six of these activities have been scheduled for the following week, from 11 to 17 March, making a grand total of 92 initiatives against climate change.

The actions seek to reach and involve the largest possible number of people. Many of them consists of talks, workshops and seminars, although the community will also be offered film screenings, competitions, storytelling, exhibitions and other activities for different age groups.

As well as the activities organised by city and town councils, sectors like industry, science and culture will have a relevant role in the first ever Asteklima. The relationship between climate change and its impact on health, fashion, big data, water, the business sector, design, coastal impact, sustainable building, agriculture and human rights will be discussed during these seminars and meetings.

There is also room for other types of activities, such as the ‘Slow Fashion’ catwalk show at the Palacio Miramar sponsored by the Gipuzkoa Regional Council; exhibitions in the Aquarium, Alderdi Eder and in Boulevard Donostiarras, as well as a photography exhibition in Álava courtesy of the Vitoria-Gasteiz Photographers’ Association and the Basque Government itself.

One of the most attractive activities will take place on board the Mater EkoMuseo del Mar. During the first two weekends of March, the boat set sail with members of the public from the Pasaia port along the Jaizkibel cliffs. This will be a dynamic way of illustrating the impact of climate change on the sea, with rising sea levels, the disappearance of species, meteorological changes, etc. And on weekdays – from 1 to 8 March – there will be two daily workshops for school to explain the impact of climate change on the sea. The boat trips and workshops are free, although you must book in advance.

The purpose of the first Basque Climate Change week is to mobilise the community to make a personal commitment to this global challenge under the premise that every little counts. 

The Basque Country: a date with climate change

Global warning is a problem affecting the entire planet, and in 2019, the Basque Country is hosting one of the most important events for discussing how to address it. The ‘Change the Change’ International Conference will feature 50 of the most renowned specialists in the subject and around 600 people are expected to attend.

Organised by the Government of Spain, the Government of the Basque Country, Gipuzkoa Regional Council and Donostia/San Sebastian City Council, the conference has obtained Erronka Garbia Sustainable Event certification. This certificate accredits that events have been designed, organised and carried out so as to minimise their negative environmental impact.

It will also leave behind a positive legacy: those attending the Conference will have the opportunity to offset emissions caused by the Conference by means of a forest replanting project with autochthonous species in Donostia.