Spain - Climate
At a glance
Spain is increasingly prioritizing climate change in its development cooperation policies and programs
In 2018, Spain spent US$199 million of its ODA on projects which targeted action against climate change as a principal or significant objective, making it the 15th-largest Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC) donor to the issue, in absolute terms.
US$199 million represented 26% of Spain’s overall allocable bilateral ODA in 2018. This is higher than the DAC average of spending 22% of bilateral allocable ODA on climate change-related projects, making Spain the 10th-largest donor to this issue in relative terms.
Climate finance: funding for projects tagged in the OECD’s Creditor Reporting System (CRS) database with the Rio markers for climate change mitigation and/or climate change adaptation. Projects can be tagged with either or both markers.
Each marker has three possible scores:
- Principal, for projects in which climate change mitigation or adaptation is a fundamental and explicitly stated goal;
- Significant, for projects in which climate change mitigation or adaptation is not a key driver but still an explicitly stated goal; or
- Not targeted, meaning the project does not address climate change mitigation or adaptation.
Not all projects are screened against the Rio markers; this funding falls into the ‘not screened’ category.
In the ‘Master Plan for Spanish Cooperation 2018-2021’ (Master Plan), climate action is earmarked as a strategic objective within which Spain aims to support middle- and low-income partner countries in 1) reducing CO2 emissions, 2) promoting the use of renewable energies, 3) protecting biodiversity, fostering sustainable fishery, and 4) facilitating efficient waste management. Other development sectors within the Master Plan including 'rural development' and 'water and sanitation' also include climate change as a component, mainly focusing on climate mitigation and adaptation measures. Climate-related financing is provided through the ODA budget and through funding sources from the Ministry of Ecological Transition.
Spain is also increasingly prioritizing climate change in its development cooperation policies and programs. In February 2020, the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union, and Cooperation highlighted climate change and sustainable development as one of the key foreign policy priorities within her strategic priorities for her current term of office. In June 2020, climate was re-highlighted as one of the key features of Spain's renewed development policy, which was restructured as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
Spain’s climate-related ODA overwhelmingly focuses on adaptation measures
Spain’s climate change-related ODA overwhelmingly focuses on adaptation (90%) to climate change. Interventions aimed at climate change mitigation account for 55% of Spain’s funding in this sector. As is apparent from the relative size of these percentages, there is also significant overlap between the two markers. This is because a project can target both adaptation and mitigation. In 2018, 44% of Spain’s funding for actions against climate change was channeled toward projects tagged with both markers. (For more information on the markers, see box.)
In 2018, 19% of Spain’s bilateral allocable ODA was spent on projects with a significant climate change component (DAC average: 15%). 7% of funding targeted climate change as a principal goal (DAC average: 7%). A large proportion (74%) of Spain’s bilateral allocable ODA did not target climate change or was not screened against the Rio markers in 2018 but this proportion was lower than the DAC average (78%).
In terms of sectoral focus, projects aimed at 'agriculture' (including forestry, fishing, and rural development) received the largest share (35%) of Spain’s climate financing in 2018, followed by projects aimed at 'water and sanitation' (22%), 'government and civil society' (21%), and 'environmental protection' (3%)
Spain is a strong supporter of climate-related multilateralism at the international front
Spain supports the following multilaterals in their work addressing climate change challenges:
Ibero-American Network of Climate Change Offices (RIOCC): Spain pursues technical cooperation in the climate sector with partner countries in Latin America and the Caribbean through the Ibero-American Network of Climate Change Offices (RIOCC) and Spanish Cooperation’s ‘ARAUCLIMA Programme’. In accordance with the priorities identified by the RIOCC member countries, most technical cooperation measures and activities carried out have focused on adaptation measures.
Central American Integration System (SICA): Spain supports the Central American Integration System (SICA) in implementing policies that foster sustainable human development and reduce poverty. Through this forum, Spain supports cross-cutting programs which are affected by climate change including those aimed at transforming agricultural systems affected by climate change and adapting and building social resilience to climate change.
The Green Climate Fund: Spain supports partner countries in reducing their greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate change through this fund. In 2019, Spain pledged €150 million (US$177 million) billion for the Green Climate Fund's 2019-2023 replenishment session.
MAEUEC’s General Directorate for Sustainable Development Policies defines climate finance priorities
The General Directorate for Sustainable Development Policies within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation (MAEUEC) defines strategic priorities. Within Spain’s development agency (AECID), its Directorate for Multilateral and Sectorial Cooperation and its regional departments (i.e, Directorates for Africa and for Latin America) are in charge of the programming and implementation of Spain’s bilateral and humanitarian ODA related to climate change. In addition, the Minister of Ecological Transition and fourth Deputy Prime Minister Teresa Ribera steers Spain’s climate change policies at the domestic level and assesses the MAEUEC in global climate affairs. Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez represents Spain at high-level international forums on climate change.