EXPLAINING the importance of reducing greenhouse gases to a Spanish person is not easy, Miguel Arias Cañete maintained. The former minister of Agriculture, who is now European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, told an Almeria interviewer that explaining climate change to the inhabitants of a Pacific island is less difficult.
South Sea islanders are fully aware that tropical climate phenomena have an intensity they did not possess before, he said. “They know that sea levels are rising and their island is disappearing because they are close to it all.”
In Spain people merely see that summers are hotter and there is little rain, although a farmer or grower knows that rainfall has changed, that weather conditions are more intense and that when hail arrives it arrives with a vengeance.
“They know that the calibre of flash floods in Spain’s Levante area is unlike anything ever known historically and that the summer heat dries up their crops.”
Climate policies cannot be short-term and are not as easy as inaugurating a reservoir, Arias Cañete warned. To avert rising temperatures by the end of the century, policies must be implemented today.
“Otherwise our grandchildren, if they come from Almeria will have to emigrate because the desertification process is not going to stop,” he said.