They demand a brake on the large transport infrastructures in Spain for accelerating the climate crisis

A total of nine environmental NGOs from all over the country They have demanded that the Government put an end to the “dynamics” of large transport infrastructures that ignore the climate emergency declared at the beginning of 2020. The projects to expand ports, airports and the road network collide head-on, they say, with the objectives of decarbonization and the fight against the climate crisis to which the country has committed.

In the conference held this Tuesday with the title ‘The policy of large transport infrastructures in Spain’ and organized by various NGOs in the Lower House, the entities criticized how “removed the policy of large transport works is in relation to the climate emergency”, given that the endowment of large transport infrastructures in Spain is “much higher than that of any other European country”.

These entities point out that Spain is the EU country with the most kilometers of dual carriageways and motorways, with the largest network of high-speed rail lines, with the most deficit airports and with the greatest unused port capacity.

The spokesman for Ecologistas en Acción, Francisco Segura, explained in his presentation that for many years Spain has been the European country that has dedicated the highest percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to large transport infrastructures, even in periods when They have applied very strong cuts to social benefits.

Segura adds that in 2009 2.2 percent of GDP was allocated to these works (23,000 million) and that the following year cuts totaling 7,500 million euros in social benefits were approved.

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“Concrete tsunami” over Spain

The participants in this forum explained the consequences of this “concrete tsunami”such as the impact on the territory, the occupation of a large amount of fertile or protected soil, the fragmentation of properties and ecosystems, with the consequent problems for biodiversity, as well as pollution and noise.

He also regretted that for decades an “unsustainable” transport model based on the consumption of fossil fuels has been promoted and in the modes of transport that generate the most emissions. “It is not surprising that in the Spanish State transport is the economic sector with the most greenhouse gas emissions and where its reduction is not achieved as it is happening with other sectors”, they have stated.

For his part, the professor of the Department of Quantitative Methods of the University of the Basque Country, David Hoyos, considers that large investments have been carried out with little social return and has assessed that “economic efficiency together with the climate emergency forces us to impose strict criteria for all new transport infrastructure projects in Spain”.

Likewise, the convening entities criticized the infrastructure expansion projects for encourage unsustainable mass tourism and promote hypermobility and hyperglobalization of goods and that they forget the environmental and social impacts of these actions, as well as the increase in emissions that they entail.

A representative of the Ciutat-Port Commission — to expand the Port of Valencia — participated in the conference and listed the consequences of this expansion. From Terraferida they have analyzed the repercussions in the Balearic Islands of the Llucmajor-Campos motorway; the Zeroport platform has broken down the problems of the planned expansion of the Barcelona airport; and the State Coordinator for the Public, Social and Sustainable Train has reviewed the consequences of the proposed railway line between Madrid-Badajoz-Lisbon.

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In this sense, they denounce that some of these infrastructures have been “linked to political corruption” through a catalog of illegal donations by businessmen in exchange for works contracts.

Misuse of Next Generation funds

Although they acknowledge that investment in major works has been more moderate over the last decade, they consider that the injection of European funds Next Generation is causing a revitalization of the most negative dynamics and regrets that projects that have two negative environmental impact declarations are even being reactivated. Projects that already accumulate two negative environmental impact declarations are even being reactivated, such as the Cuenca-Teruel highway.

the summoners They demand that the transport policy in the Spanish State stop following the climate emergency. “This dynamic of large works that only favors large construction companies must be stopped now and think about mobility policies and services that benefit the majority of citizens without destroying our territory,” he concluded.

The organizing entities of the day are Ecologists in Action, Alliance for Climate, Asturies for Climate, State Coordinator for the Public, Social and Sustainable Train, Comissió Ciutat-Port, GOB, Platform against the Expansion of Barajas, Terraferida, Zeroport.

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