Climate Guide to Support Political Parties for Local Elections in Spain

In Spain a project has been launched called "Guía Climática para las elecciones municipales de mayo 2015", which aims, from a non-partisan perspective, to provide climate and environmental ideas and arguments to local political groups in Spain during the drafting of their electoral programs in the upcoming municipal elections in May.

The guide covers aspects related with climate advocacy, the importance of political leadership and communication when talking and implementing climate policies, the integration of climate policy as a crosscutting theme in government action, or the recognition of climate policies and green economy as a way to overcome the crisis, create jobs and reduce the growing poverty and inequality. In this sense, the guide include proposals and more specific ideas for areas covering energy, mobility, education and participation, management of green spaces, urban agriculture and waste management among others.
 
The project is conducted by Jesús Marcos Gamero, Doctor in Social Analysis by the University Carlos III of Madrid and a specialist in the study of the social and political dimensions of Climate Change and the answers should be given to this phenomenon from these areas. The guide has the support of the Research Group in Sociology of Climate Change and Sustainable Development of the University Carlos III and the Local Community Association NUBER-Getafe.
 
The proposal is structured around a website www.guiaclimatica2015.blogspot.com and the document guide itself that can be downloaded from the website.
 
The project is dynamic, moving beyond the dissemination of ideas and proposals among local political groups, aiming also to reflect and recognize the commitment of different electoral programs in this field throughout this election period. Ultimately, the guide will collect the most interested findings and proposals during this process in order to support and provide an updated document to the new local elected governments from June 2015.
 
The guide proposes to provide support to all local political groups, who so wish, throughout Spain. The reason, in words of its author has to do with the "need to raise environmental and climate discourse among political groups, avoiding a partisan use of it". Similarly, this guide aims to "try to break the dynamic, quite common to electoral processes, where discussion between parties is based on mutual critics, and does little to create a debate of ideas and projects beneficial to the public".

The author states that "obviously, the guide is not a complete work and there always gaps to fill", considering the importance of adapting, by local political formations, the lines proposed in the guide to each context and local realities. He also considers that "the purpose of this paper is to provide an incentive for other similar initiatives that will be carried out in this electoral process", calling for action to "other research groups, organizations and neighborhood groups, for both at the state level and at a more local level, in order to demand to political parties to recognize as fundamental in policymaking the environmental and climate component, and its recognition within their electoral commitments".

Equally, as the guide is written in Spanish, this work aims to be useful for other spanish speaking countries, individuals or political parties in order to improve their work and approach to local climate policies. Further information can be found via email to the author: jmgamerorus@yahoo.es

Author: 
Jesús Marcos Gamero Rus