Spain
The collapse of Vox drives climate denial away from the government
The impossibility of a PP-Vox coalition government banishes the specter of denialist policies in the midst of accelerating climate change.

 The general elections left many doubts - nothing but the formation of the nextExecutive power, but a great certainty: denial, in Vox's electoral program, willnot govern during the most important legislature to face the climate crisis, oneof the greatest political challenges of world governance. 

That is the first reflection made by ecologist and environmental experts afterthe results of the polls. The scientific consensus is unanimous: the next foryears - the next decade - will be decisive in preventing the worst-casescenarios with regard to climate change, whose impacts are occurring fasterthan projected to the bewilderment of many researchers. 

After 28M, LPO consulted leading voices of Spanish environmentalism tomeasure the consequences of the appearance of Vox in more than one hundred local governments. The answers were correlated with reality, withwhat happened weeks later after the first measures adopted by thoseadministrations (for example, the elimination of bikes lanes ): a large part ofthe ecological transition is defined at the local level. 

At that time, the reflections coincided on the "dark scenario" that could beopened up before a hypothetical national government in the sameretardist/denialist tune.Regardless of how the new legislature is defined, whether Sánchez will beable to revalidate a progressive coalition or if there will be an electoralrepetition, the strong electoral collapse of Vox, with a loss of 19 deputies,drives possibility away. 

The same sources agree that it is a "relief" in climatic terms.For Héctor Tejero, deputy of Más Madrid and adviser on the energy transitionof this formation, the elections have "made it clear" that there are manypeople who do not accept "a retarded-denialist government in ecologicalmatters" in Spain. 

"Vox's denialism is evident. And the PP, in line with what is happening inEurope, is letting itself be loved by a kind of very worrying retardism. If thereis finally a progressive government, it will be good news for the climate," hesays."Environmentalism in Spain breathed relief. At least a little bit. 

Themarkedly denialist option, Vox, sank under the weight of its ownfanaticism. We still cannot know if it was because of denial, sexism,racism or what, but the fact that Spain has said ‘no' to those who speakof ‘climate religion' is great news." Alberto CoronelFrom the Ministry led by Vice President Teresa Ribera, "positive things" havebeen done that can be improved, for example, with Sumar's route time, aformation that has "the best ecological transition program" in Spain.

"From 2019 to 2023, the green perspective has been incorporated into thecoalition government. This was at risk. In this sense, the relief is generalized." Tejero points out another key, that in this uncertain scenario, it is practicallycertain that Sánchez will continue in office during the Spanish presidency ofthe UE. 

"This continuity is decisive. Ribera has done cutting-edge work inEurope and very important energy and ecological measures are going to beadopted in the coming months." 

 Xan López, an expert in political ecology and member of the Contra el diluviocollective, the Corriente Cálida magazine and author of the Amalgamanewsletter, also highlights this point. "No one knows what will happen with the investiture, God and Puigdemontknow if Sánchez is going to revalidate his mandate, but what is certain is that,whatever happens, we will have the rotating presidency of the Council of theEU, which in these months is going to decide very important things such asemissions in transport, air quality, biodiversity, the reform of the electricitymarket, etc.,"he stresses.In his opinion, the Spanish ballot boxes are also a message for the PartidoPopular Europeo (PPE). 

"Perhaps their strategy of alliance with the extremeright and the systematic blocking of the green agenda has less rounds thanthey thought," he says. He says that at the estate level, Spain "has the great opportunity to be abenchmark in Europe regarding climate policies." "We must push for a veryambitious legislature that serves as a reference and counterweight to thisblocking trend at the European level, which unfortunately will continue to gainpositions," he points out."

The collapse of Vox drives climate denial away from the government

This was at risk. In this sense, the relief isgeneralized." Héctor TejeroAnd he concludes: "If there is electoral repetition, we have already seen that itis possible to counteract this denial, and that there is progressive bloc willingto vote for the climate. The worst scenario has clearly been avoided." Alberto Coronel, Ph.D in Philosophy, Political Ecology researcher at theComplutense University of Madrid (UCM) and member of Rebelión Científica,reflects in the same vein.

Environmentalism in Spain breathed relief. At least a little bit. The markedlydenialist option, Vox, sank under the weight of its own fanaticism. We stillcannot know if it was because of denial, sexism, racism or what, but the factthat Spain has said "no" to those who speak of "climate religion" is great news

That confirms the data with which we work at Rebelión Científica: More of 80% of Spaniards consider not only that the climate crisis is a real threat, butthat it is one of the most serious one," he analyzes. 

However, having avoided "the worst possible scenario leaves us far from thegood scenarios", because a coalition government has yet to be formed. "Sumar's presence tilts the coalition to the hopeful side of the scale, buteverything is uncertain. Fragile governments are required to be conservative,which means not to questioning the imperative of economic growth. Even withall that, whatever new government is born, it has the social mandate not todeny the storm that is coming our way.", he concludes.

The environmentalist and sustainability consultant Andreu Escrivà agreeswith the relief that the deniers, not only of climate change, but also of science,well-being and who propose policies that threaten the "health and progress"of the Spaniards, have decreased their votes and that therefore "theseextreme positions" remain in question as an electoral weapon.

"It has been seen that this type of position does not contribute votes. Now, asa counterpoint to this, I think that Spain has not voted for climate, becausethe party with the most votes is full of retardists and they have increased theirsupport. The PP proposes regressive policies as is happening in Valencia,Madrid and many other local governments. 

The PP is an accomplice of Voxand has led to a whitening of the extreme right," he reflects cautiously. "The really ambitious policies are not being implemented by anyone. Tosuch an extent that the parameters of environmental degradationresulting from the policies implemented by the coalition governmentbetween the PSOE and Unidas Podemos have not stopped worsening." 

 Luis González Reyes, Doctor of chemical sciences, member of Ecologistasen Acción, shares that bittersweet feeling. He admits his relief at the reversalof denialism, but warns that both the right and the institutional left, "aretaxpayers of the same progress," unsustainable in adjusting the economy tothe energy and material limits of the planet. 

"Either this is broken or we arenot going to be able to reverse the crisis that lies ahead," he explains.He insists on the idea of celebrating "the good political and cultural news," butknowing that there are still many structural reforms to be made. 

"The really ambitious policies are not being implemented by anyone. To suchan extent that the parameters of environmental degradation resulting frompolicies implemented by the coalition government between the PSOE andUnidas Podemos have not stopped worsening," he summarizes.

Translator: Bibiana Ruiz.

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