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BARCELONA ― The city government here declared a climate emergency and vowed to spend $628 million over the next five years to dramatically slash its output of planet-heating emissions and fortify this sun-soaked Mediterranean metropolis for the warming that’s already unavoidable.
Lawmakers in Spain’s second-largest city on Wednesday unveiled a sweeping policy package that includes 103 measures ranging from bans on polluting vehicles in newly demarcated “low-emissions zones” to the creation of more parks to phasing out single-use plastics.
The changes are projected to help halve the city’s emissions by 2030. That target is in line with what United Nations scientists say is required globally to keep warming in the relatively safe range of 1.5 degrees Celsius, roughly half a degree hotter than average temperatures today.
“This is not a drill, the house is on fire,” Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau said at a press conference, according to a translation of the speech published in El País, the country’s newspaper of record.
The announcement comes months after a European Union report found that Spain’s nationwide emissions increased 17.9% during a 27-year period in which greenhouse gas outputs fell 23.5% across the continent.
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