Vitoria-Gasteiz is interested in exploring multiple impacts/multiple benefits of energy efficiency and co-developing the MICATool because it wants to better understand and monitor the socio-economic and environmental impact of the city’s actions and policies on energy efficiency.
Vitoria-Gasteiz is the capital and the second largest city in terms of population in the Basque Country, Spain, and has some 254,000 inhabitants. The city has ambitious climate goals and strives to achieve them by becoming greener and more energy-efficient, as well as promoting renewable energy, sustainable mobility and smart solutions. The City Council develops specific sustain-ability policies and programs, and actively collaborates with Government departments, provinces, territories and international partners in the fight against climate change. For decades, the municipality successfully implemented various environmental projects, including the popular Green Belt, which aimed to provide a comprehensive solution to the peripheral spaces in order to promote the conservation of the natural values and biodiversity, to take advantage of the potential of local natural spaces as an educational and interpretative resource, to create a large green area for recreational use around the city and to involve citizens and conservation of the natural heritage of Vitoria-Gasteiz, promoting the identity of this space.
Vitoria-Gasteiz signed the Aalborg Charter in 1994. Four years later, it was the first Spanish municipality to approve the Local Agenda 21, which marked a milestone in the development of sustainability policies and measures in the city. This structural plan for the municipality introduced sustainability criteria and indicators for all areas of municipal management. It also integrated environmental, economic and social policies that aimed to improve the quality of life in several areas, like health, environment, urban planning, services, mobility, etc. Vitoria-Gasteiz is also a signatory of the Aalborg Commitments (2004), the Basque Declaration (2018) and the Mannheim Message (2020).
In 2008, Vitoria-Gasteiz joined the Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, a network of local governments voluntarily committed to achieving and exceeding the EU climate and energy targets, and became a member of ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability in 2010.
In 2010, the municipality submitted its first Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP) for 2010-2020 “Plan Against Climate Change 2010-2020”. They are currently developing their Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan (SECAP) outlining the updated objectives and strategies to reach climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest.
Vitoria-Gasteiz’s Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP) for 2010-2020 “Plan Against Climate Change 2010-2020” committed to reduce city emissions by 25,7% and GHG emissions of municipal services and equipment at least by 56,1% by 2020 compared to 2006. The strategy outlined the main action areas in the municipality until 2020, which included renovating and retrofitting old buildings, improving energy efficiency, installing renewable energy systems, promoting the use of hybrid and electric vehicles, renovating public lighting, installing LED technology, using biomass, heat pumps, micro-cogeneration systems, and district heating networks, amongst others.
In 2020, Vitoria-Gasteiz ratified a commitment to the Covenant of Mayors to increase its emissions reduction at least by 40% by 2030 through energy savings and efficiency improvements, using renewable energy sources, and increasing resilience by adapting to the impacts of climate change. The municipality is currently exploring an even more ambitious goal of reducing GHG emissions by 60% by 2030, in line with the European Commission’s Green Deal ambition to dramatically reduce emissions by 2030 and achieve climate neutrality by 2050. Vitoria-Gasteiz wants to set more ambitious climate targets for the next decade. These commitments will be included in the city’s in-progress Sustainable Energy and Action Plan (SECAP), which will outline the updated objectives and strategies for the city to reach climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest.
The energy model of Vitoria-Gasteiz to achieve its objectives in 2030 is based on the following pillars:
Key sectorial actions
Municipal facilities and services:
Vitoria-Gasteiz is interested in exploring multiple impacts/multiple benefits of energy efficiency and co-developing the MICATool because it wants to better understand and monitor the socio-economic and environmental impact of the city’s actions and policies on energy efficiency by identifying causal chains. This would help the municipality to make better informed decisions and carry out more efficient and accurate programs in the future improving the quality life of citizens. In addition, it would support the municipality to build bridges and boost cooperation between different city departments, as well as help engage other actors within the private-public sector.