The Conference, to be held from 6 to 8 March at San Sebastian, will be one of the most relevant events of the year with top-level international speakers. We will also learn about how the problem is being addressed at regional level.
By the end of the century, temperatures will rise in the three Basque capitals by 4 to 5 ºC, and minimum temperatures by 3 to 4 ºC. In addition, forty municipalities, in which nearly 80% of the population reside, will be affected by extreme climate events, such as flooding, rising sea levels and heat waves.
Climate change is a global phenomenon, to which the Basque Country is not immune. The majority of international bodies have catalogued it as one of the main challenges facing the human race and requires action both at the global and local levels. With this in mind, the International ‘Change the Change’ Conference has been organised and will be held from 6 to 8 March at San Sebastian, whose latest developments have been made public today by the organising institutions, represented by the Minister of the Environment, Territorial Planning and Housing of the Basque Government, Iñaki Arriola; the foral deputy of the Environment and Hydraulic Works of Gipuzkoa, José Ignacio Asensio; and the Mayor of the City Council of San Sebastian, Ernesto Gasco.
From the regional or local perspective, the situation of the Basque Country with respect to climate change has already been extensively studied. The result of daily work since 1971, a climate atlas has been produced in high resolution which, in turn, has enabled us to make predictions in anticipation of what may occur regarding climate change during the 21st century, following the line of trends studied by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) at the international level.
According to studies carried out by Ihobe, the Basque Government environmental management company has reached the conclusion that extreme minimum temperatures will rise by 1 to 3 ºC during the winter months, while the extreme maximum temperatures will increase by 3 ºC during the summer.
In winter, the number of freezing days will halve and the phenomenon of ‘cold snaps’ will disappear from 2020. In summer, longer heat waves will be expected, along with a slight increase in their frequency. Between 2020 and 2050, heat waves may account for 30% of the summer days, reaching 50% at the end of the century. Furthermore, the frequency of moderate rainy days will reduce and the number of days of very heavy rain will increase.
Basque capitals will undergo very intense temperature changes given that in San Sebastian, Bilbao and Vitoria-Gasteiz, maximum temperatures will rise by 4 to 5 ºC and the minimum between 3 and 4 ºC.
Faced with this situation, the Basque Country has the Klima 2050 strategy, aimed at mitigating and adapting the territory to the effects of climate change, as well as working on a new Climate Change Act. Minister Arriola has indicated that the conference will be a “wake-up call for the environment on the disruptive effects of human actions” and stressed that although the Basque Country is only a very small part of the planet, “everything that each of us does or does not do adds or detracts from the response to a global challenge that also affects us very directly”.
On the part of the Regional Council of Gipuzkoa, the Minister for the Environment and Hydraulic Works, José Ignacio Asensio, indicated that “climate change needs to be addressed from the local level where a large number of decisions are taken that are at the root of the problem. A successful local strategy is a key factor in responding to our environmental problems and transforming this challenge into an opportunity, promoting a development model based on a green economy that generates wealth and employment for the region. In this line, Gipuzkoa has approved its GK 2050 climate strategy, has recently launched the Climate Change Foundation, Naturklima, and has shown its active commitment to the dissemination and awareness-raising of society to the problem of global warming”.
The Deputy Mayor of the City Council of San Sebastian, Ernesto Gasco, has pointed out that “the choice of San Sebastian for holding this Conference is a magnificent opportunity to return to place the city on the world map. An event of this nature is good for the external promotion and for local economic sectors. In addition, it will be an opportunity to announce the measures and programmes that San Sebastian has in place under its jurisdiction to try to mitigate the consequences of Climate Change. Approval of the Klima Action Plan DSS 2050, the local Agenda 21 and other perhaps less noticeable actions intended to reduce CO2 emissions in the city day by day, form part of a strategy involving political, economic and social sectors”.
A significant date
The International ‘Change the Change’ Conference will host 50 expert, well-renowned speakers on climate change, as well as the so-called ‘heroes and heroines of the planet’. Six hundred people are expected to attend over the three days, so that it will be one of the most significant dates of the year in this field.
There will be top level international experts, such as British economist Nicholas Stern, the executive co-Director of Greenpeace International, Bunny McDiarmid, the ex-European Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard, or Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, head of Climate and Energy of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF International), among many others.
Among the latest additions to the programme we might also mention Sylvia Earle, oceanographer of National Geographic and recent winner of the Princess of Asturias Award, as well as Mónica López, director of the meteorology area of RTVE and president of the Association of Meteorological Communicators ACOMET.
The Basque Country will announce the threats posed by climate change at local level at the ‘Change the Change’ Conference
The Conference, to be held from 6 to 8 March at San Sebastian, will be one of the most relevant events of the year with top-level international speakers. We will also learn about how the problem is being addressed at regional level. By the end of the century, temperatures will rise in the three Basque capitals by 4 to 5 ºC, and minimum temperatures by 3 to 4 ºC. In addition, forty municipalities, in which nearly 80% of the population reside,
Leading heroes and heroines of science, art, design and cuisine will inspire against climate change at Change the Change conference
The Change the Change International Conference has signed up as speakers the chefs, Ángel León and Andoni Luis Aduriz, the sculptor, Cristina Iglesias along with Lourdes Fernández, the Australian designer, Leyla Acaroglu and the scientists, Ana Payo and Uxua López Flamarique. These heroes and heroines of the planet will offer a personal vision, explain their innovative projects and initiatives to act against and raise awareness of climate change from diverse fields and in different parts of the planet. Change the Change International
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