The forum ‘Dialogues on the Future of the Circular Economy’ held in the Balearic Islands has had in its opening ceremony with the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism of Spain, Reyes Maroto. A space in which he has described the Islands as a “pioneer and leading region in this economy”, whose objective is to turn linear production into a model that takes advantage of resources for a longer time. Thus, he has highlighted that “It will be key to combat climate change”.
During the meeting, he explained that the circular economy should serve to leave linear productions behind and direct efforts towards a more sustainable model. In this scheme, according to Maroto, the Balearic Islands «will play a strategic role in improving economic competitiveness and creating new jobs ”. With this in mind, the Government presented the Circular Economy plan last May, with a budget of 1,500 million euros. The objective, to promote sustainable initiatives.
In this sense, the minister has highlighted the plan ‘Pyme Circular’. Proposal that was launched to integrate small and medium-sized companies into the circular economy. What’s more, has announced the creation of new circular products. On the one hand, a smart tourist destination, “an initiative that the Palma City Council has joined this year.” On the other, a series of innovation actions in the field of energy efficiency, for which 540 million euros will be allocated.
Along the same lines, the president of the Government, Francina Armengol, has assured that the Balearic Islands need to promote the circular economy, “because it is a territory fragmented by the sea.” «We are a fragile region in the face of climate change, with obvious economic effects, “he remarked. Thus, he highlighted that they are working to change the model of the Islands towards a more sustainable one.
In this stage, the European Funds will have a prominent role. Precisely, Armengol has stressed that they are “a historic opportunity”, despite the fact that he has refused to agree with the rest of the political forces on the Strategic Investment Plan. Precisely on these days different political parties, including Més that is part of the Government, they have criticized that the project has not been presented and debated in Parliament.
According to Armengol, the European Funds will allow the Islands “to be fairer and with a stronger, more diverse and respectful economy.” With this money, «will be invested in the construction of the first green hydrogen production plant in Spain». This plant will be installed in Lloseta and is expected to start operating in January 2020. The Government’s Plan also includes projects related to the water cycle and will divert money to Catalan and gravitational waves.
Armengol has insisted that most of the funds will go to tourism-related projects, which will be linked to the promotion of circularity. “For the sector to minimize waste production, promote local consumption or be self-sufficient with renewable energies.”
On the other hand, Maroto has stated that the tourist season in the Balearic Islands is going to lengthen. According to her, “the delay in many destinations, especially in the United Kingdom, will allow the tourist season to lengthen.” And he added that this recess can be “substantiated in trips in October in Spain and in the Islands.”
While it is true that there has been a slight rebound in British tourists for this month, the forecasts of the Federation of Hotel Companies of Mallorca (FEHM) is that they will begin to close hotels in mid-October. In the same way, the end of the season will be brought forward one two weeks and by November only around 30% of the hotel plant will be open.
The minister has also taken advantage of her intervention to value the data of international tourists that Spain has had this summer. He highlighted that 5.2 million foreigners have traveled to the country to spend their vacations. About the Balearic Islands he said that «continues to lead the arrival of these tourists, with more than 25% of the total ».