European Commissioner for Climate Policy and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete, who is currently in Bonn where COP23 is being held, spoke yesterday by videoconference at the II Spain-India Forum opened this Wednesday in Madrid. There he insisted on the importance of the Paris Agreement and also noted that the United States withdrawal means that both the European Union and India have to work harder to fight Climate Change.
Miguel Arias Cañete insisted that for the European Union the Agreement that came out of the COP21 held in 2015 is a clear and nonnegotiable commitment that Europe wants to lead. For this reason, the EU wants to advance in the setting of more ambitious 2030 renewable targets.
In particular, he was in favor of increasing European commitment to the renewables production up to 40%, instead of the 27% agreed upon in Paris. In his opinion, the reduction of Greenhouse Gases (GHG) emissions and the increase in energy efficiency, key to the Agreement, are also essential for growth and employment in Europe.
Likewise, the European Commissioner for Climate Policy and Energy, expressed his satisfaction that India, fourth country in the world in wind power, and the EU are united in the challenge of complying with the Paris Agreement since “the only way to fight against Climate Change is to close ranks. ” “Together,” he added, “we can give a boost to the energy transition.”
In this regard, he recalled that the partnership between the two countries was already evident in the Spain-India Business Summit organized by the Chamber of Spain and the CEOE in New Delhi in April 2015 while he specifically highlighted the potential for collaboration between both in the development of offshore wind, cooling with renewables and solar pumps for irrigation, for example. Especially when India wants 40 percent of its energy to be wind in 2030.
Against climate change
In addition to the Secretary of State for Energy, Daniel Navia, and the mayor of Madrid, Manuela Carmena, who opened the day, the II Spain-India Forum also had the participation of Eduardo González, general deputy director of climate policy coordination in the Spanish Office of Climate Change.
González pointed out that the present year and 2018 are very important dates in Spain because the process of drafting the Law on Climate Change and Energy Transition will be completed in this period of time while he also noted that complying with the purpose that Europe wants to achieve, namely the full decarbonization in 2050 “will be a hard job“.
Likewise, he pointed out that between both countries there are common challenges in the sense that in Spain “we must work on the costs efficiency ” and that “we have to be technologically neutral” besides moving towards the electrification of mobility and transport. He also referred to the lack of interconnection with Europe, which is currently around 3-4% when it should be between 10 and 15%. He did not forget to mention the pending duties in the field of rail freight, the shift from the use of natural gas to heat pumps with renewables in air conditioning, the rehabilitation of homes or efficiency in the industry.
Carlos Sallé, director of Energy Policies and Climate Change of the Group and chairman of the Spain Chamber of Commerce´s Energy Commission also participated in the II Spain-India Forum, organized by the Spain Council Foundation. There he pointed out that the energy sector digitization and electrification are generating many opportunities.
On the other hand, he added that the problem of electricity access in countries like India – where according to the World Bank in 2014 only 79.2% of the population had it – must be solved with sustainable energies.