Spanish Lawmakers Aim for 90% Carbon Cuts by 2050

CC BY 2.0. Eric Titcombe

By 2030, 70% of the country's electricity could come from renewables.

When Spain reached a deal to close most of its remaining coal mines, mining unions actually celebrated. And that's because—just like their counterparts in Australia—they understand which way the energy markets are headed, and they'd rather secure a deal for a just and orderly transition than cling onto an industry that's clearly a thing of the past.

And the miners were not wrong.

In yet another sign of an accelerating decarbonization, reported by Arthur Neslen over at The Guardian, Spanish lawmakers have just announced ambitious plans to target 100% renewable energy and 90% carbon emission cuts by 2050. The plan also includes promises to improve energy efficiency by 35% in the next 11 years and, as Reuters highlights, to ban the sale of gas and diesel cars by 2040. (That's ten years after countries like Denmark.)

Nothing is set in stone, of course. And Spain's notoriously volatile coalition politics could easily derail part or all of these proposals. Yet I can't help feeling that the way forward for political climate action—given the raging wildfires and other climate-related disasters the world is seeing—is to move from false pragmatism and compromise and into the realm of ambition and decisive action.

Greener growth could add trillions to the global economy. Early pioneers stand to benefit the most.

Now, when will we see similar ambition here in the US?