Council of Ministers

Government presents Strategic Energy and Climate Framework

Moncloa Palace, Madrid, Friday 22 February 2019

The Council of Ministers presented the Strategic Energy and Climate Framework, which includes the National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan 2021-2030 (Spanish acronym: PNIEC), submitted to the European Commission, the Draft Bill on Climate Change and Energy Transition, and the Just Transition Strategy.

The Minister for Education and Vocational Training, and Government Spokesperson, Isabel Celaá, announced that "the goals for the period 2020-2030 are clear: to reduce polluting emissions and ensure greater energy efficiency for our country", in line with the commitments taken on with the European Union on this matter.

For her part, the Minister for the Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, argued that the government's proposal is ambitious, balanced, modernising, supportive and fully viable. This is in line with the 2030 Agenda and complies with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

Teresa Ribera explained that the government has drawn up this strategic framework in record time - in only eight months - with the full participation of all ministerial departments. "The proposal made is sound, cross-cutting, and maximises synergies", on climate matters.

National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan 2021-2030

Teresa Ribera durante su intervenciónPool Moncloa/JM CuadradoTeresa Ribera highlighted that the government has sent the European Commission the draft National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan 2021-2030, which lays the foundations for the modernisation of the Spanish economy, for Spain to take a leading position on renewable energies, for the development of the rural environment and for improving the health of citizens, the environment and social justice.

The document proposes a reduction of between 20% and 21% of greenhouse gas emissions compared with 1990 levels. It plans to achieve up to 42% consumption of renewable energies out of the total energy use by the year 2030. As regards electricity generation, the percentage of renewables will stand at 74%. The country's energy efficiency would improve by 39.6% by 2030.

These figures, pointed out the minister, will allow "us to move towards the final goal for 2050, which consists of a 100% renewable energy electricity system with zero greenhouse gas emissions for the whole of the economy".

Draft Bill on Climate Change

The government analysed the Draft Bill on Climate Change and Energy Transition (Spanish acronym: LCCTE), which provides for the decarbonisation of the Spanish economy by 2050 and gives a decisive boost to renewable energies.

The minister argued that the new legislation will generate confidence among our citizens and economic operators. It also commits to sustainable mobility and provides for the mobilisation of resources with the aim of incentivising a low carbon economy that is resilient to climate change.

Just Transition Strategy

Teresa Ribera stated that the Just Transition Strategy will provide the framework of action to optimise opportunities under the ecological transition to create more and better jobs.

It includes the instruments necessary to optimise job opportunities under the energy transition through frameworks for vocational training, active employment policies, support and accompaniment measures - with particular attention to strategic sectors - and reactivation plans for those areas most affected by this transition process.

It also contains instruments to reduce inequalities and support consumers, particularly the most vulnerable.

Macroeconomic effects of Strategic Energy and Climate Framework

Teresa Ribera e Isabel CelaáPool Moncloa / JM Cuadrado

The minister explained that the Strategic Energy and Climate Framework will mobilise some 230 billion euros over the coming decade from private, public and joint investment. She also said that it will allow Spain to reduce its energy dependence by 15%, from 74% at present to 59%. This reduction will allow a saving of more than 75 billion euros to the trade balance between the years 2020 and 2030.

Teresa Ribera forecast that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will rise by between 19.3 and 25.1 billion euros between the years 2021 and 2030, or 1.8% of GDP by 2030 compared with a scenario without this plan. This will have a positive effect on employment, since between 250,000 and 350,000 jobs will be created in the next decade, above all in the manufacturing industry and construction.

The minister also highlighted that the measures proposed will have a very positive effect on the health of citizens. It is estimated that the initiatives contained in this framework "will lead to a reduction of around 25% in the number of early deaths caused by atmospheric pollution", she stated.

Teresa Ribera stressed that these decisions will have a positive effect on the most vulnerable groups. By way of example, she stated that this would amount to a 12% reduction in the electricity bill, before tax, by the year 2030.

Boost to Urban Agenda

The Council of Ministers analysed the Urban Agenda, a strategic document, without regulatory status, which is aligned with the international commitments taken on by Spain under the 2030 Agenda, the new Urban Agenda of the United Nations and the Urban Agenda for the European Union.

The document reflects the government's commitment to achieve fair, just and sustainable urban development, which takes into account all cities, towns and villages in Spain. Its ten strategic goals include the rational use of land, avoiding urban dispersion, guaranteeing access to housing, reducing the impacts of climate change and "fostering more sustainable mobility in cities", highlighted Isabel Celaá.

Special Regime for Balearic Islands

Isabel CelaáPool Moncloa / JM Cuadrado

The Council of Ministers approved a Royal Decree-Law and a Draft Bill to regulate and develop a special regime for the Balearic Islands and to create new tax breaks for companies operating in the archipelago.

The minister, Isabel Celaá, pointed out that the nature of its island status must be taken into account and compensated for in "establishing the appropriate economic balance between different areas of the country".

Among the different measures provided for, subsidies for air and sea travel for residents is consolidated, including an increase in the discount to 75% on fares for direct trips to the rest of the country.

In turn, those companies that allocate part of their profits obtained in the Balearic Islands to future investments in the region will enjoy a reduction in the Corporate Income Tax base. Discounts will also be established for those companies which, among other conditions, respect the number of jobs or increase their workforce.

Other agreements

• Draft Bill for digital transformation of financial system. The project establishes a suitable legal environment to guarantee that the innovative process is developed in a secure and effective fashion for users.
• Royal Decree modifying current legislation on the application in Spain of the School Programme on the consumption of fruit, vegetables and milk, in order to improve and speed up its application, and make it more flexible.
• Agreement establishing May 3 as the National Day to celebrate the United Nations International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Weekly assessment

During her appearance at the press briefing following the Council of Ministers, the Government Spokesperson welcomed the approval this week by the Lower House of Parliament of the reversal of the education cuts, the new Real Estate Credit Act and the rise in orphanhood pensions for the children of women who are victims of gender-based violence. "This is an example of the usefulness of politics and that it is possible to find room for consensus, something this government will continue to seek", she claimed.

In contrast, Isabel Celaá regretted that "the policy has not arrived in time" to avoid Friday's eviction of four families in the Madrid neighbourhood of Lavapiés. The Lower House, she recalled, did not ratify the Royal Decree-Law on rentals which would have included measures to reform eviction procedures to offer greater protection to vulnerable households. The minister considered that this legislation would have offered greater legal certainty for those affected.

As regards the situation in Catalonia, the Government Spokesperson insisted on the premise of "dialogue and law" and reiterated that the government will not "budge an inch" on defending the constitutional order. In this regard, she called for common sense and to stop promoting "a policy of confrontation that only benefits the most radical supporters".

Lastly, the minister announced that the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, will travel to the south of France on Sunday, 24 February, to pay tribute to Manuel Azaña in Montauban and to Antonio Machado in Colliure.