Council of Ministers

The Government of Spain reinforces the prevention of emergencies as a result of climate change

Council of Ministers - 2022.10.31

Moncloa Palace, Madrid

The Council of Ministers addressed the 'Horizon 2035' National Disaster Risk Reduction Plan, which was promoted at the the Conference of Presidents last March in La Palma and was unanimously approved at the plenary session of the National Civil Protection Council on 24 October. The Plan sets out the priorities that should guide all public administrations in their response to natural disasters, particularly those caused by climate change.

The Minister for Territorial Policy and Government Spokesperson, Isabel Rodríguez, stressed the importance of co-governance in this area, "that all levels of government are well-oiled and coordinated to tackle the response that we must give to the different adversities".

Rodríguez has argued that the management of this type of situation has revealed "we can make a give positive assessment as a country in general", but that there are also "issues where we can improve". The Government Spokesperson also linked this Plan with other initiatives adopted during the legislature, such as the measures to prevent forest fires and the National Strategy to Combat Desertification.

Instrument of social cohesion

The Horizon 2035 Plan is based on three pillars: climate change, the comprehensive security of people and the consideration of the National Civil Protection System as an essential part of the State and as an instrument of social cohesion. "All people, wherever they live, must have a minimum level of protection" against these uncertainties, said Isabel Rodríguez.

To achieve excellence in this area, the Plan aims to strengthen the bodies of the National Civil Protection System, organise resources so that they are interoperable between the different public administrations and guarantee the capacity of each one to respond to emergencies within the scope of their competences.

Other fundamental objectives are to deepen the culture of prevention, to incorporate science and R&D actions into prevention and Civil Protection actions, to include relevant private sector actors and to strengthen links with social and humanitarian aid systems.

Isabel Rodríguez detailed that the Plan will be governed by a Committee with representatives from all territorial levels who will act according to the "single management of Civil Protection emergencies" principle. The strategy also includes the reinforcement of training, the creation of a Scientific Advisory Committee, the promotion of volunteering and the culture of self-protection, new lines of funding and the annual monitoring of the Plan; this report will be debated in the Upper House of Parliament.

112 alert system

The Government Spokesperson and Minister for Territorial Policy, Isabel Rodríguez, during her speech at the press conference after the Council of Ministers | Pool Moncloa/Borja Puig de la Bellacasa

As an example of the initiatives already undertaken by the Executive, the spokesperson highlighted the 112 alert system, ES-Alert. This new tool, financed with the funds from the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, allows an alert to be sent to the mobile devices of the members of a community of neighbours, a district or an entire autonomous community with instructions on how to act in the event of a specific emergency or disaster.

Tests of this fast-acting mechanism were carried out last week in several regions and will continue from next Wednesday in Murcia, the Balearic Islands, Madrid, Aragon, Navarre and Catalonia.

Commitment to the European institutions

The Council of Ministers also approved the transposition of six European directives into Spanish law relating to matters such as the incorporation of highly qualified profiles into the labour market, access for people with disabilities to various products and services, the digitalisation of notarial actions and civil liability for nuclear damage or radioactive material.

The Minister for Territorial Policy stressed that these are all recent directives, which shows "this Government's commitment to European institutions and its speed in transposing these regulations".

Other agreements of the Council of Ministers

The Executive has approved a series of draft laws that will entail the transfer of some waste taxes to those communities that had demanded it. In particular, these are Andalusia, the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands, Catalonia, Valencia and Galicia.

At the press conference following the Council of Ministers, the spokesperson also referred to the subsidy granted to the Federico García Lorca Centre Consortium to finance the acquisition of the poet's personal and family library, worth 125,000 euros.

The approval of this aid coincides with the celebration for the first time - thanks to the Historical Memory Law - of the Day of remembrance and homage to all victims of the military coup, the war and the dictatorship. "We are a Government that promotes reconciliation with our past, and we do so with the certainty that this reconciliation is the foundation for our coexistence, the coexistence of today and tomorrow," said Isabel Rodríguez.

Non official translation