President Pedro Sanchez presented a series of measures aimed at helping Spain face the challenges in the energy sector and combat climate change over the coming decade. The plan entails public investment amounting to €47 billion.
“What we propose is not capricious, but necessary, and moreover, it is possible,” Sanchez said at the Ministry of Ecological Transition, while presenting these initiatives.
Facing the hurdle of general elections
The plan includes decarbonization goals for 2050. However, it could be perceived as a declaration of intent, given that the official is facing general elections on April 28.
Socialists are leading the opinion surveys, but polls show that they would not obtain the 350-seat majority in the Spanish Senate.
Sanchez stated that the plan would be partly funded by the European Union.
This program includes measures to compensate job losses in polluting industries. The government is planning to pass it during the minister council on Friday.
The initiative package includes a draft of the Climate Change Law and contemplates a postponed National Energy and Climate Plan for the 2021-2030 period that will be sent to the EU for approval.
Although there is time to send this material to Brussels it is unlikely that it is approved by the current socialist government – which controls a quarter of the Congress – due to the April elections.
The government will present a tender calendar that aims to increase the current goal for renewable energy generation from 40 percent to 74 percent in 2030, and later to 100 percent by 2050. It assures that this “will enable to meet the EU targets signed in the Paris Agreement.”
For his part, the European Commissioner for Climate and Energy Miguel Angel Cañete has called for Europe to reduce GHG emissions to zero by 2050.
The Spanish plan entails a total investment of €200 billion and seeks to lower dependence on energy imports to 59 percent from the 74 percent recorded in this decade.
“-Climate Change is the greatest challenge that we as a planet face
-Fighting it will only bring benefits: a new model that will improve our economy, jobs, and health.
-This will all be discussed in @ChangeTheCC2019 You can still join!”
👉El cambio climático es el mayor reto al que nos enfrentamos como planeta
👉Y combatirlo solo nos traerá beneficios: un nuevo modelo que mejorará nuestra economía, nuestro empleo y nuestra salud
👉De todo eso se hablará en @ChangeTheCC2019 ¡Aún puedes inscribirte! pic.twitter.com/qzgv8IItwL
— Transición Ecológica (@mitecogob) 18 de febrero de 2019
This will help save up to €75.3 billion in fossil fuel imports during this period.
The program intends to be a route map to tackle the energy transition and face climate change in Spain over the next ten years. Renewables, eliminating fossil fuels, and electrification will be at the heart of this initiative. Furthermore, the government assures it will help create 300,000 new jobs.
Spain to face the challenges of climate change
The president assured that climate change constitutes “the great challenge” of our times and stressed that the energy and climate plan includes “tools” to build a pathway to the future.
This package is based on three pillars: the Law for Climate Change and Energy Transition; the National Comprehensive Energy and Climate Plan, and the Strategy for Fair Transition.
The draft law also establishes limits for hydrocarbon extraction activities. In addition, it proposes a process to review subsidies to fossil fuels and includes divestment from the public sector; as well as defining a system of indicators of the impact and adaptation to climate change, including the need to elaborate risk reports.
Sanchez said that while this draft law is the legal framework, the Plan proposes ways to achieve it. One of said ways establishes that in 2030 renewable penetration will double and reach 42 percent.
Along these lines, the president stressed that his administration is decisively committed to energy efficiency, but did not offer further details.
He highlighted that both will improve the Spanish commercial balance with an investment of €75 billion. “This has always been one of the Achilles heels in our economy,” Sanchez said.
Polluting vehicles ban
The draft Law for Climate Change maintains the ban on diesel and gasoline vehicle sales beyond 2040. Nonetheless, it does so in more flexible terms. In this sense, the legal document will speak about adopting all necessary measures to ensure that “all new light vehicles produce zero emissions by 2040.”
“It is a huge opportunity for the automobile industry, which will have a leading role in this change,” he said.
For more information, check Energía16