The Basque Country is at the forefront of climate action in Europe, committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and transitioning to a sustainable economy. We have joined the Under2 Coalition, a group of states and regions dedicated to limiting global temperature increase to below 2°C. Through robust climate policies, we are driving the shift towards a low-carbon socioeconomic model.

In 2015, before the Paris Agreement, we published our Climate Change Strategy 2050 and began implementing climate change policies. From 2016 to 2018, we participated in The Energy Transition Platform, sharing our experiences with fellow coalition members on developing and implementing clean energy policies. For instance, our smart grid project, which involved the installation of smart meters and modernizing our grid, created economic and environmental opportunities.

To contribute to the international debate and raise awareness about the urgency of reducing emissions, the Basque Country is organizing an event called “Change the Change.” Held under the UN “Momentum for Change” initiative and aligned with the Paris Agreement, the conference will bring together institutions, companies, civil society, and citizens to discuss climate change challenges. It will take place from 6 to 8 March 2019 and feature international experts presenting success stories, new business models, and impactful initiatives.

The conference will cover eight thematic sessions, including Planet Health & Science, Regional Environmental Action, Pioneer Cities, Sustainability Agenda, Climate Culture & Education, Energy Transition, the New Economic Paradigm, and Women in Leadership. Additionally, members of the Under2 Coalition, like Scotland, Lombardy, and Baden-Württemberg, will share their experiences in fighting climate change and addressing key challenges in the “Regional Environmental Action” session.

Leading climate action ambassadors and experts will participate in the conference, such as Lord Nicholas Stern, Connie Hedegaard, and María Neira. The aim is to encourage citizen engagement and inspire personal commitments to combat climate change. The conference will coincide with the first-ever Basque Climate Week, featuring a strong social media presence with the hashtag #changethechange19 and the launch of the Basque Government’s guide of 52 tips to combat climate change.

As part of the initiative “Change Up Network,” the Basque Country has also brought together international networks working on climate change to support the event. These networks include The Climate Group, Nrg4SD, Aclima, ENCORE, ICLEI, CONAMA, ECODES, REDS, Globernance, and Community for Climate.