Unfortunately, climate change is already having an impact in Spain. Almond trees have long been heralded as the first indicator of spring in Spain but with unseasonably warm weather, the trees have been blooming earlier. This has a knock-on effect on honey production as the earlier flowering prevents bees from getting food, resulting in a poor almond harvest.
Not only do hundreds of families rely on almond trees for their livelihood, but Spain’s beloved jamón ibérico de bellota could also be made scarce due to climate change. Rising temperatures and decreasing rainfall in Extremadura threatens a key part of the pigs’ diet: acorns.
2023 was the third-driest year in Spain since 1964 and saw the hottest summer on record. 74% of Spain is at risk of desertification, and 20% of mainland Spain is already desertified. To combat this, Spain has the 2019 Climate Change and Energy Law, which works to reduce their emissions.
The country also has many reservoirs to ensure the availability of water, but like many things in Spain, they rely on rainfall. The total water in reservoirs in Spain was at 51.3% of capacity at the end of January 2021 – a worrisome statistic.
Climate change is already beginning to have an impact on Spain, and if temperatures continue to rise, the situation could reach a critical level. Spain needs to continue to work to reduce their emissions, while also ensuring that the country has access to the necessary resources to fight it.