The Change the Change Conference was a significant gathering in San Sebastián from 6 to 8 March. It brought together 57 of the world’s top climate change experts and 775 delegates who rated the event highly with a score of 8.1. The city of San Sebastián benefited from a direct financial return of approximately €600,000, and the global media coverage of the event was valued at nearly €3 million. This conference was the centerpiece of the first Basque Country’s Climate Change Week, called ASTEKLIMA, which involved 49 municipalities and offered a diverse range of almost a hundred activities.
Change the Change, which is the International Conference on Climate Change, was held in Donostia/San Sebastián from 6 to 8 March. It attracted leading international climate change experts, totaling 57 individuals, and had a full attendance of 775 delegates as of 1 March. Additionally, there were 254 participants who followed the streamed event. Feedback from attendees was overwhelmingly positive, giving the conference an average rating of 8.1.
The conference had a significant economic impact, amounting to €3.4 million. This included approximately €600,000 spent in the city on accommodation, transportation, business endeavors, and hospitality, and a media impact valued at €2,813,000. The media coverage was extensive, involving 137 professionals from 52 accredited media outlets, including international correspondents. The conference gained media attention worldwide, reaching countries such as France, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Argentina, Peru, and Chile. This ensured climate change remained a relevant topic in the global media.
The well-regarded aspects of the conference included the expertise of the speakers, efficient organizational aspects, and the availability of technical resources. Three-quarters of the delegates expressed their willingness to attend the future II Change the Change event, if it were to be held.
An important highlight of the conference was the successful interinstitutional coordination involving the Spanish Ministry for the Ecological Transition, the Basque Government’s Ministry of the Environment, and the Departments of the Environment of Gipuzkoa Provincial Council and Donostia/San Sebastián City Council. This collaboration played an instrumental role in making the conference a reality, with all levels of government working together towards a common objective.
ASTEKLIMA, the first Basque Country’s Climate Change Week, was closely associated with the Change the Change International Conference on Climate Change. It comprised a diverse program of nearly one hundred activities, which took place in 49 Basque municipalities. Both events aimed to raise awareness, initiate conversations about climate change, and encourage individuals to make personal commitments and take specific actions in their daily lives. The underlying principle was that every action, no matter how small, can contribute to making a difference.