In his commitment to halt climate change, opposition leader Mariano Rajoy promised last week that if he wins the general election he will plant 500 million trees in four years, that is, four trees every second, which would make the squirrels happy. Tradition has it that centuries ago, squirrels could travel from one end of Spain to the other jumping from tree to tree without every touching the ground. But times have changed and the south of Spain is well on the way to becoming a desert. Three weeks ago, the Socialist Party came up with a more modest proposal to plant one tree per inhabitant over the next four years. Sr Rajoy’s proposal works out at ten trees per inhabitant. An Environment Ministry spokesman said his proposal would be difficult to carry out because, as Secretary General for Territory and Biodiversity Antonio Serrano pointed out, there is simply not enough land available. Sr Rajoy also said he would introduce measures to reduce the effect of greenhouse gases in Spain by 20% by the year 2020. He also promised to provide government workers with new vehicles that would run on biofuel, and he would ask the European Commission to reduce VAT on new greener vehicles.


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