Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez to give a keynote speech on climate change at Change the Change
The San Sebastián International Conference will gather together many of the leading experts from 6 to 8 March. 600 visitors are expected to attend the different talks by 50 specialists. There will be eight different thematic panels, with experts on the economy, science, energy, culture, meteorology, along with ministers for the environment from six European regions. A special session only featuring women who are leading the fight against climate change will be held on Friday 8 March. The programme has been shortened to allow time to join in the feminist demonstrations.
One of the main climate change events of the year in Europe, entitled ‘Change the Change’, will begin on 6 March in San Sebastián. Over three days, the Basque City will host the international conference, which the Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, has joined and he will be taking part in the opening session with a paper on this global challenge.
Prime Minister Sánchez will there be accompanied by Nicholas Stern, one of the leading experts on the impacts of climate change on the world economy, along with the Iberdrola CEO, Ignacio S. Galán, and the Conference’s host, the Basque Government’s Minister for the Environment, Territorial Planning and Housing, Iñaki Arriola.
Part of the UN ‘Momentum for Change’ initiative and in line with the Paris Agreement, the Conference will gather 600 visitors to listen to papers by 50 experts at the Kursaal Conference Centre in San Sebastián from 6 to 8 March. The experts are from different sectors: the corporate world, local government, universities, technology centres, research centres, NGOs and social organisations.
The programme will be structured into 8 thematic panels that will address the planet’s health, the role of the regions, the urban environment, sustainability, energy transition, the economy, education and women’s leadership.
In addition to those general themes, the aim is to spotlight the local problems of this global phenomenon. Hence the presence of six environmental ministers from six European regions (Central Denmark, Lombardy, Scotland, Balearic Islands, Baden-Württemberg and the Basque Country) among the speakers, along with the mayors of Leuven (Belgium) and Seville. They will all be speaking on Wednesday 6, together with the scientists Manola Brunet, Uxua López Flamarique and Ana Payo, with the latter two being part of ‘Heroes and Heroines of the Planet’.
The speakers on the 7th will include top-tier specialists from different profiles. Sustainability experts of the ilk of Rebeca Grynspan and the former European commissioner Connie Hedegaard; energy and economic specialists; the artist Cristina Iglesias and the chefs Andoni Aduriz and Ángel León. There will also be time to talk about education and migratory movements.
Special session on the 8th
A special session only featuring women who are leading the fight against climate change has been organised for Friday 8 March. Special mention should be made in the closing sessions of Bunny McDiarmid, executive co-director of Greenpeace International, along with Sylvia Earle, a National Geographic oceanographer and winner of the 2018 Princess of Asturias Award for Concord.
On that day, delegates will be able to listen to women leading the fight against climate change, including Paula Caballero, the Honduran activist, Laura Zúñiga Cáceres, Berta Cáceres’s daughter, and the Australian designer Leyla Acaroglu. All the speakers will be introduced by Silvia Intxaurrondo, the journalist.
The programme on Friday has finally been shortened to support and allow time to join in the feminist demonstrations on 8 March.
The first Basque Country’s Climate Week
This International Conference is organised by the Spanish Government, the Basque Government, Gipuzkoa Provincial Council and Donostia/San Sebastián City Council.
It will also be the main event of the first Basque Country’s Climate Change Week, Asteklima, which will be held from 1 to 10 March. Its goal is to raise awareness among the general public about the importance of this phenomenon with around a hundred activities organised in 49 Basque municipalities. The aim is to rally the public to make a personal commitment to fight climate change, on the premise that any action, however small, makes a difference.