May 14, 2021



Licensing bans are quickly becoming a core test of real climate leadership

Paris, France. Yesterday, the Spanish Parliament adopted a wide-ranging Climate Change and Energy Transition law, which includes a ban on new fossil fuel exploration and production licenses. The law mandates that the production of fossil fuels will end on Spanish territory by 31 December 2042 and requires license holders to submit a reconversion plan for the fossil fuel facilities they operate five years before the license expires. Finally, the law restricts fossil fuel subsidies by mandating that they be “duly justified by social, economic or social interest” and only in the absence of technological alternatives.

Romain IOUALALEN, Senior Campaigner at Oil Change International, said

The Spanish decision is a welcome development. It is further proof that the escalating climate crisis means that no country can claim to be a climate leader if they don’t put an end to fossil fuel expansion and commit to phasing out production. This goes for the United Kingdom, whose refusal to phase out North Sea oil and gas production seriously weakens its credibility as COP26 host. 

“Countries with similar policies must work together to ensure that aligning fossil fuel production with the goals of the Paris Agreement is at the center of international climate policy discussions. We urge Spain to work with other first movers in this space to make this a new diplomatic norm – real climate leadership requires ending fossil fuel expansion.”

Spain is the latest member of a growing group of ‘first mover’ countries that have adopted full or partial bans on new oil and gas exploration and production licenses. This group includes Belize, Costa Rica, Denmark, France, New Zealand, and Portugal. The Irish Parliament is set to adopt a similar ban. The international Lofoten Declaration, signed by over 700 civil society organisations and leaders worldwide, makes an urgent appeal to wealthy fossil fuel producing nations to “lead in putting an end to fossil fuel development and to manage the decline of existing production.”



One Comment

  • Still using oil and gas cars. No battery swap stations. What does this do except weaken your country?

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