The Minister of Territory, Energy and Mobility of the Balearic Islands, Marc Pons, defends in a telephone interview the climate change law that the Autonomous Parliament approves today. One of the most controversial measures is the calendar that vetoes the circulation of new diesel cars in 2025 and those of other fuels in 2035.
Question. Is there time to comply with this calendar?
Answer. There is enough time to comply with this calendar. We are six years away and the technology for insular territories such as the Balearic Islands is sufficiently advanced to respond. In parallel, we have developed a series of actions to favor and guarantee the quality of supply and charging points; it is a whole strategy to make possible a quiet and peaceful transit.
P. Why gasoline will have a decade more if it also emits greenhouse gases?
R. The law is not only about combating climate change, it is also about air quality, and the emissions of greenhouse gases from diesel are accompanied by particles that have a special impact on health. And we found it interesting to be able to advance everything related to diesel to make the change more quickly.
P. Regarding the electric recharge network, when do you think you can have it operational?
R. Nowadays we have more than 300 recharging points installed. All the Town Councils of the islands already have points. In parallel, we have taken out a tender of 12 million to establish a network for the islands of fast recharging points. We give direct installation aids of up to 40%. Any interested company can present its offer. There is a limit for a few years for the price at which that energy is sold and then it will be a free market. We will plant in 2023 with a dense network of charging points in all the islands. And to this we add that on the island of Mallorca, the largest one, doing more than 300 kilometers in a day is very difficult. From that perspective, technology already responds and we are aware that we are in a race in which car manufacturers are trying to gain more autonomy by lowering prices.
P. Did you expect such a virulent reaction from car manufacturers in Spain?
R. It is true that an association in particular, Anfac, has come out with a very clear position. But we have also met with many of the European and national manufacturers and they tell us that they have launched in this race and they are very clear that this is the future. They are very clear that either they make this bet or the wave will pass over them. And, respecting any decision that may be taken, we believe that for a tourist economy like the Balearic Islands, where the value of the natural is fundamental, the bet should be to fight against climate change. The experts are telling us that the Mediterranean will be one of the areas where its effects will have the greatest impact and it would be irresponsible not to act. These calendars are discussed and discussed with them, because we have done many meetings. Then, after pondering a lot, we have maintained the deadlines, because we are convinced that the industry itself, when 2025 and 2035 arrive, will have given answers to this challenge.
P. Are you worried about Anfac's complaint against the law in Brussels?
R. We can look in Norway, Austria, Germany. Most northern and central European states are setting calendars in 2025, 2030 or 2035 to not allow the registration of combustion cars. We have not taken any decision that has not already been made in other regions of northern Europe. It is true that in the south, in the Mediterranean, this law is a pioneer, but we believe that it is fully in line with European directives. And precisely the EU has asked the island territories to be pioneers in the fight against climate change, because we are more manageable territories.