Climate change and its extreme weather events have had a concrete impact on the Balearic Islands, including Mallorca, Ibiza, and Menorca. Responsible and environmentally conscious action is required, both by individuals and the economy.
Private tourists can make a difference by traveling less often but staying longer. Reducing meat consumption helps to address the climate impact of mass breeding. Installing solar cells on rooftops can prevent emissions. While these actions have been voluntary, the Balearic regional government passed a law three years ago to regulate how the islands should combat climate change. The law also aims to bring the economy onto a “green line” by 2030 by allowing only electric yachts to be rented out on the islands.
A draft amendment to the regional climate change law prepared by the Balearic Energy Ministry under Juan Pedro Yllanes proposes that boat rental companies should upgrade their fleets gradually until they produce zero emissions in eight years. While some yacht rental companies have expressed anger at the proposal, citing limited electric boat supply and the risk of ship batteries exploding in salt water, there are safe and modern alternatives, such as the electric motor and sailing yachts developed, rented, and sold by Natural Yachts.
Tourism is responsible for about eight percent of global emissions, and global warming has far-reaching consequences, leading to extreme weather events such as floods, forest fires, and melting ice caps. With its 100 percent electric rental fleet, Natural Yachts proves that sustainable tourism is not a dream of the future but already a feasible reality.
Many boat manufacturers have been producing electrically powered boats and yachts for some time, and the industry is in transition. The draft law should be seen as an opportunity, not as an end to the industry. The Balearic Islands’ boat rental industry operates 3,500 boats and secures around 4,000 jobs, which will not be lost with the transition to zero-emission yachts.
The EU Commission’s new “Fit for 55” climate plan calls for annual CO2 emissions from new vehicles to be reduced to zero by 2035. By then, only pure electric, hydrogen, biofuel, or e-fuel passenger cars could be newly registered. Norway is even planning to ban internal combustion vehicles as early as 2025. Therefore, the Balearic regional government’s plan to allow only electric yachts to be rented out on the islands by 2030 is a necessary step towards addressing climate change and transitioning towards a more sustainable future.