A letter to Ms. Ada Colau, Mayor of Barcelona

Barcelona, July 10th, 2019 HONOURABLE ADA COLAU, MAYOR OF BARCELONA City Council of Barcelona. Plaza de Sant Jaume 1, 08002 Barcelona

Dear Madam Mayor,

On behalf of Climacció, Families For Future Barcelona, Fridays For Future Barcelona, Moviment per la Justícia Climática and Extinction Rebellion Barcelona, we write to you in order to state the following:

  • Large cities like Barcelona are responsible for more than 70% of Greenhouse Gas Emissions.
    The United Nations’ most recent report is devastating: the effects of climate change are already disastrous, and it warns governments that rapid and unprecedented changes are needed to reduce CO2 emissions by 45% by 2030, in order to prevent a global temperature rise of more than 1.5oC and the catastrophic and irreversible effects that would come in consequence.
  • A new parliamentary session is beginning now in Barcelona that will be critical to the fight against the climate and environmental emergency, in accordance with the manifesto outlined in the institutional declaration made by your administration.
    Your candidacy and the majority of electoral programmes of the political groups today represented in the city council prioritized the fight against climate change and pollution.
  • We believe that the objectives established in the Barcelona Climate Plan (Plan Clima de Barcelona) 2018-2030 are insufficient.
    The objectives established in the Barcelona Climate Plan are an insufficient contribution to the European Union’s framework of action regarding the climate and energy, and the plan itself includes actions that have been proven ineffective in the field of area and mobility. Furthermore, while the Port of Barcelona and Barcelona - El Prat Airport participated in the development of the plan, it does not include measures to reduce emissions in these sectors, nor does it mention the increase in emissions that will result from the planned expansions of Barcelona’s roads, port and airport. With current policies, Barcelona will be incapable of confronting the challenge at hand and could even end up increasing its greenhouse gas emissions by the end of this period.

The first measures presented by the municipal government decisively lay out the achievements that can be expected from the 2019-2023 mandate, and for this reason, we appeal to you that, as mayor, you lead the fight against the climate and environmental emergency, with social justice.

For these reasons, we urge you to:

A) Lead the implementation of the following 7 urgent policies that we put forward to confront the climate emergency in Barcelona.

These are concrete measures that our collective of movements prioritizes because of the considerable and immediate impact they will have on the reduction of emissions, and because they do not require large investments to be implemented. Measures that will also have a positive impact on public health and the living conditions of the population, and which will mean an economic saving for public and citizen budgets.

B) Introduce feasible policies that in your four-year term can change the course of Barcelona’s rising greenhouse gas emissions. These policies must enable us to reach the minimum objective of a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 (in relation to the base year, 1990), in accordance with the European Union’s framework of action – an objective which, given Barcelona’s higher than average contribution of greenhouse gas emissions, should be 55%.

1. Stop the expansion of Fossil Fuel infrastructure

Halt the planned construction projects of new road, port and airport infrastructure:

  • The expansion of Ronda Litoral, Sant Andreu - Sagrera dual carriageway and the expansion of the C-58 motorway.
  • Two new cruise ship terminals.
  • A third goods terminal at the Port of Barcelona.
  • A third terminal at Barcelona - El Prat airport.

2. Antipollution Toll

  • Establish an antipollution toll to reduce the number of private vehicles on the roads by 50%, in accordance with the levels recommended by the World Health Organization in Barcelona. Exceptions for private cars with 3 or more occupants and people with reduced mobility. Destine the resulting funds to financing public transport.
  • Approve the T-Ambiental transport card (monthly payment with unlimited journeys) with a price lower than four T10 transport cards and valid for two zones.

3. Energy

  • Incrementar la generació d'energia provinent de fons renovables i netes, simplificant la legislació i proporcionant incentius administratius des del consistori.

4. Waste

  • Put in motion a plan to close the TERSA public incinerator.
  • Disassociate BARCELONA ENERGÍA from TERSA.
  • Push forward Zero Waste policies, to effect a radical change of the current waste management model in which waste prevention is prioritizes, and measure that emit contaminants and greenhouse gases, like incineration and landfill, are rejected.

5. Divest from Fossil Fuels

Ensure that municipal funds neither directly nor indirectly support the fossil fuel industry with financial services or products:

  • Specific clauses that exclude companies from the fossil fuel sector from public contracts, including financial services.
  • Specific clauses from the Commission of Control of Municipal Pension Funds that exclude fossil fuel companies from its portfolio.
  • Prioritize ethical banking over traditional banking in the financial management of the council’s activity.

6. Food Sovereignty

  • Convert the new “Eco” Mercabarna, designed for agroexports (products imported over many airmiles) into a space for the sale and promotion of ecological produce from Catalonia.
  • Guarantee production in the existing agricultural spaces in Barcelona as a source of food for the city.
  • Adopt a diet low in animal proteins, with ecological, locally-produced food, in the dining rooms of the various city authorities.

7. Communication and Public Awareness

Implement a communication and public awareness campaign to give the climate emergency an urgent presence in:

  • The daily information transmitted by the media
  • The training and information given by education centres, civic centres, public institutions, etc.

C) Meet with us on the 27th September, the same day that Barcelona will mobilize for the Global Climate Strike convened by Fridays For Future to coincide with the UN Climate Action Summit, which will take place at the United Nations’ headquarters in New York. The objective of this meeting will be to discuss your position on our seven demands.

We thank you for your attention, and look forward to receiving your official reply.

Sincerely,

Climacció
Families For Future Barcelona
Fridays For Future Barcelona
Moviment per la Justícia Climàtica
Rebel·lió o Extinció Barcelona