Mariano Rajoy claims that Spain will meet its "demanding commitments" in the fight against climate change

President's News - 2017.12.12

Paris (France)

During his speech at the plenary session of the One Planet Summit, the president of the Government underlined that the Paris Agreement, adopted in December 2015, represented a very important milestone in the international fight against climate change. For the first time, we have a legally binding agreement that a significant part of international society has committed to".

Mariano Rajoy reiterated Spain's commitment to the fight against climate change. "We have taken on demanding commitments in relation to reducing emissions and we are working to guarantee compliance therewith". In this regard, he highlighted that the government is drafting a law on climate change and energy transition "that will lay the foundations for an orderly, effective transition with a low cost for consumers".

Leading role of renewable energies

The president of the Government explained that this transition towards a low carbon economyPool Moncloa/Diego Crespo is based on two pillars: energy efficiency and the leading role of renewable energies. Increased efficiency, he said, "reduces energy consumption, generates economic activity, is positive for competitiveness abroad and reduces external energy dependence". He also highlighted that "Spain already has 41% in relation to electricity and that it will complete its renewable target within its energy total by the year 2020".

On another note, the president of the Government recalled that Spain has contributed, between the years 2012 and 2016, almost 2 billion euros in public climate financing to developing countries. "Our commitment, as I announced at the Paris Summit, is to increase our contribution to 900 million euros per annum as from 2020. In fact, between 2015 and 2016 we contributed 27% more".

Increased interconnections

Mariano Rajoy conveyed to the participants at the summit the need to increase energy interconnections. "The incorporation of renewable energies goes hand-in-hand with having integrated markets and hence with increased interconnections. We have made commitments to our European partners but we must also work especially hard over the coming years to put this into practice because, if not, it will be very difficult to meet our commitments".

Pool Moncloa/Diego CrespoIn a statement to the media after taking part in the plenary session, Mariano Rajoy reiterated that electricity interconnections constitute a priority for Spain and he announced that in the first half of next year a summit will be held in Lisbon to improve them. He will attend this summit together with the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron and the Prime Minister of Portugal, António Costa.

The president of the Government remarked that any progress made in this field, as was achieved at the summit held in Madrid in March 2015, "would be very positive". "This would allow us to depend a great deal more on renewable energies because at such times as these cannot be used, it would very easy to use interconnections with France", he said.

Coal replacement

When asked about the need for Spain to move towards eliminating coal in Spain and to shutting down this type of plant, the president of the Government explained that this issue will be addressed in the law on climate change to be approved next year. "We cannot completely eliminate coal from one day to the next, in the same way as others cannot simply shut down their nuclear power stations from one day to the next. When there are more electricity interconnections and we make progress on decisions on the creation of renewable energies, things will become easier", he explained.

As regards the alarmist messages on climate change, Mariano Rajoy stressed that what is important is for "people to become more aware of the problem" and "steps are already being taken in the right direction". These steps include reducing emissions, already achieved by such countries as Spain, and the fact that many cities have set a date for all cars to be electric.

Non official translation