Barcelona city government pursues climate goals with 40 projects

3 Aug 20

Barcelona is pursuing 40 climate action projects to help the city’s ‘green recovery’ from the Covid-19 crisis and meet its environmental commitments, after declaring a climate emergency earlier this year.

 

With €95m from the European Investment Bank, the EU’s lending arm, the city government will undertake regeneration projects, energy efficiency schemes and invest in social infrastructure, such as nurseries and schools.

Up to 25% of the funding will go towards regenerating 200 square kilometres across the city, using the concept of ‘superblocks’ – grouping buildings together, restricting traffic to the perimeter and giving residents better pedestrian access to green spaces and local facilities.

Other projects will include improving the energy efficiency of public lighting and municipal buildings, as well as improving bus and cycle lanes across Barcelona.

“Adapting our cities to a more sustainable model is key to achieving the EU objective of climate neutrality by 2050,” said Emma Navarro, EIB vice president responsible for the bank’s operations in Spain.

“As such, one of the EIB’s main priorities is to support urban regeneration to promote clean and inclusive growth that benefits the public while also helping to combat climate change.”

The city government declared a climate emergency in January, saying it is “now or never” to prepare for and fight climate change.

As well as green projects, the EIB financing will be used to promote social inclusion, by building and renovating schools, nurseries, sports facilities, a new library and care homes.

Barcelona’s deputy mayor, Jaume Collboni, said the announcement shows the city’s “commitment to climate action, the green economy and the green transition to a healthier city and greater wellbeing for its people”.

“The agreement also comes as some good news as the city grapples with the repercussions of Covid-19, as it will enable the administration to free up money from the budget to better respond to the crisis,” he added.

The projects are expected to create 1,500 jobs.

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