Climate Change and Energy Transition: Fide presents the Working Group’s proposals for Spain’s strategy on Global Warming

"Madrid, January 24th, 2019. – The Fide Foundation has presented the proposals of the Working Group: Draft Climate Change and Energy Transition Law”. See end of page."

The working group expressly supports the approval of a stable regulatory framework that allows Spain to meet the objectives assumed in the 2015 Paris Agreement and in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of the United Nations while promoting economic and social development, it contributes to the competitiveness of the Spanish economy.

The document of proposals related to the Draft Law on Climate Change and Energy Transition presented today at FIDE is the result of several work meetings. The document gathers different opinions on a complex subject that arouses enormous interest today.

The working group was led by Mariano Bacigalupo Saggese, University Professor, Department of Administrative Law, UNED. Member of the Academic Council of Fide, and by Guillermina Yanguas Montero, Magistrate and Doctor of Law. Member of the Academic Council of Fide. 18 recognized professionals from different fields have also participated in the working group, which has enriched the debate.

All the people who have participated in this workgroup have done so in a personal capacity and not on behalf of the entities or institutions where they carry out their professional work, so the conclusions do not reflect or reflect institutional positions, but rather particular ones of each one of the members of the group. The conclusions contained in the document that has been presented today are not the faithful reflection of the opinions of each of the members on each and every one of the points discussed. In fact, within the working group, there are diverse opinions on certain issues which reveals the complexity of the subject and justifies the plurality of integrated opinions.

 The main conclusions reached by the working group are the following:

  1. The approval of a CC&ETL implies an unavoidable commitment that does not admit delays. The WGCC&ET expressly supports the approval of a stable regulatory framework that allows Spain to comply with the objectives assumed in the Paris Agreement of 2015 and in the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development of the United Nations at the same time as promoting economic development and contributing to the competitiveness of the Spanish economy.
  2. The WGCC&ET considers that the time is right for the enactment of the CC&ETL, which is an opportunity for Spain to convey an image of a country committed to the fight against climate change.
  3. The fight against climate change and the energy transition is an opportunity that Spain should not miss. It is necessary to transform the model in which the economic growth of greenhouse gas emissions is decoupled, although it is essential to ensure that this transition takes place without placing Spain at a disadvantage with respect to other countries in its environment. Those who manage to make this transition properly will obtain benefits, not only environmental ones.
  4. Spain is called to occupy a leading position within the current socio-political framework in the fight against climate change. The CC&ETL can be a clear signal of this role that Spain wants to play. This role and leadership of Spain in the EU and in the international framework is justified, among many other reasons, by the greater vulnerability of Spain to the effects of climate change.
  5. In the WGCC&ET there are different opinions regarding the degree of ambition of the CC&ETL. Faced with the majority opinion of those who consider it insufficient, especially considering the IPCC’s projections regarding the 1.5°C threshold at the end of the century (which would require a negative net balance of emissions in 2050), the minority position warns that the level of ambition incorporated in the dCC&TEL would imply an extra effort for Spain in comparison with the EU Member States that will limit themselves to sticking to the commitments acquired at European and international level, so that any objectives that exceed or advance such commitments must be submitted to a cost/benefit analysis that takes into account environmental, economic and social factors.
  6. The WGCC&ET has revealed a disparity of criteria regarding technological neutrality. Thus, and faced by those who think that the CC&ETL should determine the applicable technologies, other members defend the need to be flexible in the way of reaching the established objectives, given the uncertainty regarding the technologies that can be used in the future, without prohibiting any, as it could not only unnecessarily increase the cost of the objectives, but also put them at risk.
  7. Consensus and participation are essential for the proper application of the CC&ETL. The profound changes resulting from its enactment require a broad participatory process in which the various administrations, the affected sectors, and civil society can actively contribute, with greater certainty regarding the process and approval deadlines of the CC&ETL.
  8. The WGCC&ET considers a greater commitment from the public sector in the fight against climate change necessary. The measures contained in the CC&ETL affect the private sector in a decisive way and do not have the same degree of forcefulness with respect to public policies.
  9. An in-depth reform of environmental taxation is essential. Although the DCC&ETL indicates what the objectives of this taxation should be, it is necessary to translate such objectives into a true fiscal reform.
  10. From a normative technique point of view, the DCC&ETL suffers from lack of uniformity. Alternates programmatic content with excessive reference to its regulatory development. This circumstance is justified, probably due to the heterogeneous content of the provision and the different origins of its authors, but it should be avoided leaving in the CC&ETL only those aspects that require its consecration in a provision with legal rank. The CC&ETL must respect the principles of good regulation and must be accompanied by the corresponding memory of normative impact analysis. It is also considered that the heterodox process of gestation of the CC&ETL, which has been subject to successive advances, leaks and cross statements, not without controversy, has interfered with the desirable development of a formal procedure formally submitted to a broad public consultation.

The CC&ETL must ensure that principles of Union law (such as the free movement of goods) and the competences attributed to the different public administrations and, especially, the autonomous ones are respected.

The following intervened at the beginning of the event and presented the document of conclusions and proposals:

  • Cristina Jiménez Savurido, President of Fide. Magistrate on voluntary leave. 
  • Mariano Bacigalupo Saggese, University Professor, Department of Administrative Law, UNED. Member of the Academic Council of Fide 
  • Guillermina Yanguas Montero, Magistrate and Doctor of Law. Member of the Academic Council of Fide
  • Valentin Alfaya Arias, Health&Safety, Quality & Environment Director at Ferrovial
Climate Change and Energy Transition: Fide presents the Working Group's proposals for Spain's strategy on Global Warming

Valentin Alfaya Arias, Health&Safety, Quality & Environment Director of Ferrovial, Mariano Bacigalupo Saggese, University Professor, Department of Administrative Law, UNED. Member of the Academic Council of Fide, Antonio Baena Martínez, Managing Partner of G-advisory, a subsidiary of Garrigues Group, Maria Luz Castilla Porquet, Senior Advisor on Sustainability and Climate Change at PwC. General Technical Secretariat of the Spanish Group of Green Growth, José Antonio Castro Fernández, Head of the Special Regimes Unit at the Electrical Energy Subdirectorate of the market regulator, CNMC, Francisco Espinosa Cabezón, Managing Partner of the Association of Electricity Consumers. Energy Management Services (ACE), Rafael Fernández Valverde, Magistrate of the Third Chamber of the Supreme Court, Santiago Garrido de las Heras, Lawyer. Partner of Hogan Lovells, Mariano González Sáez, Senior Technician of the State Administration, holding managerial positions of an environmental nature at the three levels of administration,  David Howell, Climate and Energy Officer, Department of Environmental Governance, SEO/BirdLife, José López-Tafall, Director of Regulation, Acciona, Blanca Lozano Cutanda, Professor of Administrative Law of the Basque Country. Lawyer in the Public Law Area of Gómez Acebo y Pombo, Milagro Martínez-Pardo Cabrillo, Prosecutor attached to the Environment and Urban Development Unit of the Attorney General’s Office, Gonzalo Sáenz de Miera, Director of Climate Change in the Presidency Area of Iberdrola, Fernando Soto Martos, Managing Director of the Association of Energy-intensive Enterprises (AEGE), Fernando Valladares, CSIC Research Professor, directs the Ecology and Global Change group at the National Museum of Natural Sciences, Antonio Vercher Noguera, Prosecutor of the Environment and Urbanism Coordinator Chamber. Office of the Attorney General of the State, Guillermina Yanguas Montero, Magistrate and Doctor in Law. Member of the Academic Council of Fide.

Endnote page: FIDE Foundation, is a legal-economic think-tank, an operational centre of knowledge in a practical state, made possible thanks to the active participation of all levels of civil society that have something to say about it: from top management of companies to law firms, from university chairs to courts of justice, from all levels of administration to professionals from different fields related to the world of law.

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