Basque Autonomous Community (BAC) municipalities have a long history in the field of climate change, and thanks to advances in knowledge production and resource development within the framework of the Udalsarea 2030 Basque Network of Sustainable Municipalities, local action has also been addressed in terms of adaptation to climate change.
Local energy and climate plans constitute a benchmark instrument for planning the energy and climate actions of BAC regions and city councils. When it comes to producing said planning, the mitigation assessment is based on municipal GHG emissions calculation.
Designing a tool that would make this emissions calculation possible was one of the first steps when it came to addressing climate change within the network's framework. In January 2008, the first version of the tools was published for the local administration itself, as well as for the municipality as a whole. Said tools have been regularly updated, and in 2021 they have also been adopted on a regional scale within the framework of the 2050 Life Urban Klima project.
Local-level climate change action requires that municipalities and regions assess the situation in terms of the production of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). To do that, they need to prepare an inventory of emissions in order to assess the starting situation, detect particularly sensitive sectors and, eventually, be able to suggest measures to correct negative tendencies related to the production of emissions.
Udalsarea 2030 does the activity’s data collection work at municipal level for municipalities adhered to the network, thereby facilitating the development of a municipal-level inventory. This is why the derived GHG inventory is part of the Udalsarea 2030 Sustainable Development Municipal Indicator System.
The aim of this tool is to obtain an overview of the emissions of BAC municipalities, prioritising the adoption of common criteria and simplifying the technical complexity where there were conflicts, given the needs it faces. In this sense, the aim was to have a comprehensive tool available to cover a reasonable spectrum of emissions so that reduction targets can be established, assessing the impact of different policies and, above all, having an order of magnitude from which policies to fight against climate change can be built.
Udalsarea 2030 municipalities have the opportunity to calculate their GHG emissions every year using said tools, within the framework of monitoring their climate change and sustainability policies.
As such, the calculation tool is presented as being designed with four different versions: Municipal GHG Inventory, Regional GHG Inventory, Municipal Council CT, and Regional Entity CT. The municipal and regional inventory tools are quite similar and, on the other hand, so are the Regional Entity Municipal Council Carbon Footprint tools, for which reason 2 versions of the tool were presented.
In most cases, tool design used municipal-scale data available. In cases where this was not possible, supra-municipal, provincial, and BAC-level data was sought out first.
The structure of the tools was created based on an Excel file where the first sheets collected the data necessary to make the emissions calculations, also showing the results in terms of CO2e.
Case mainly implemented via objectives from other non-adaptation policies, though with significant consideration for climate change adaptation aspects.
Udalsarea 2030, Ihobe
As a result of the reflections and concerns presented by members of the Udalsarea 2030 Basque Network of Sustainable Municipalities, the need to address climate change as an emerging issue arose in 2005. In this context, the “Climate Change” working group was created, with the general aim of specifying the role and responsibility of the local administration when it came to reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) within their various areas of responsibility.
- A single tool that is the same for all municipalities.
- Designed based on the availability of information.
- Subject to continuous assessment and updating, making it a living tool.
- Part of the Udalsarea 2030 sustainable development municipal indicators system, so calculations are made annually within the framework of assessing and monitoring public policy on climate change and sustainability.
- The tool responds to the various initiatives, including the Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, and serves to report thereto.
Limiting factors: the tool allows GHG emissions to be estimated, and its aim is to have a base year from which reduction targets can be set, as well as traceability on the assessment of said emissions, which allows for the results obtained to be evaluated after the different policies are applied.
This is a useful tool made available to all BAC municipalities, which is complemented with municipalities being provided with all the information necessary for compliance within the framework of Udalsarea 2030.
Source of financing: Ihobe (Life Urban Klima 2050)
The GHG Emissions Inventory is a necessary tool for managing climate change policies. The inventory allows for different sources of these gases’ emissions to be known, as well as the type of gas that is emitted from each source. This information constitutes the foundation on which any programme directed towards reducing a municipality’s emissions should be based.
• Allowing for the most important sources of GHG emissions in a territory to be identified, providing an overall snapshot of its impact on climate change: the inventory is the foundation for developing strategies to help reduce carbon footprints.
• When the main sources of GHG emissions have been determined, it is easy to establish reduction commitments and targets that respond to the specific needs and demands of municipalities and regions.
• The inventory allows other measures implemented by the municipality as a result of their local action plans to be quantified.
• Allowing for emissions to be compared over time, and serving as a benchmark for decision making.
This involves more transparent communication on regional commitments to sustainable development, and GHG reduction more specifically.
2007 -2008 ( 1 year - in progress)