Green jobs versus closures of thermal and nuclear power plants. This is what has been proposed this Wednesday by the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez. He has done it during the presentation of the package of measures to combat climate change that his Government has prepared during the last months and that will take to the Council of Ministers next Friday. However, the electoral advance and the delays when presenting the different texts makes the final approval of this package depends on what comes out of the polls on April 28.
According to Sánchez, the proposed measures will be beneficial for economic growth. And for employment. The calculations of the Ministry for the Ecological Transition place in about 300,000 new jobs that will be created with the implementation of renewable, energy efficiency and other measures necessary to clean the Spanish economy of greenhouse gases.
Sanchez has acknowledged that there is a "fear", "global", before the changes that are necessary to combat the warming. And he has criticized the "false dilemma" between work and prosperity on the one hand and fight against climate change. And he has blamed it on nostalgia for an "unreal past that never existed."
Apart from this package, and linked to the different European directives, in Spain the total closure of the coal mines has already been undertaken and for the next year the closure of nine of the 15 thermals is scheduled from Spain that still burn this highly polluting fuel to generate electricity. Last weekend Pablo Casado, leader of the PP, charged the Executive by one of these closures, the Teruel thermal power station. Casado criticized that this closure "puts the future at risk" of the families of the employees and residents of the mining regions and blamed the "false ecologism" of the Sánchez government.
The climate package that will be approved by the Council of Ministers on Friday is made up of three legs: a draft bill on climate change, a draft integrated energy and climate plan and a just transition strategy. The problem is that the Executive has run out of time to leave this issue tied. On the one hand, the draft bill (which claims since 2011 Congress) can not even enter the Parliament. And the final approval of the energy and climate plan will be in the hands of the Government that will leave the elections on April 28. Sources of the Ministry for the Ecological Transition trust, however, that this plan (which must be reviewed by the European Commission) is not modified by the next Executive. In any case, Teresa Ribera, holder of the Ecological Transition, has assured that she trusts to remain a minister for the next four years to apply all these measures that she has not been able to approve.
Sanchez has influenced the major lines sought by the package presented on Wednesday. The law would imply that Spain must reduce its emissions of greenhouse gases by one third. In 2030, in addition, 42% of all final energy consumption in the country must be of renewable origin, compared to the current 17%.
Sanchez has estimated in 200,000 million the investments planned to implement the plan during the next decade, of which "47,000 million will correspond to state, autonomous, local and European public investment".
The president has highlighted that renewable investments in the electric sector will generate between 99,000 and 172,000 jobs during the decade. And the sectors most benefited will be the manufacturing industry (18%), construction (15%) and trade and repair (13%) associated with the renewable sector. Investments in savings and efficiency will generate, the Government has reported, "between 42,000 and 80,000 jobs" between 2021 and 2030, "of which 28,800 will correspond to energy rehabilitation."
In any case, Sánchez himself has acknowledged that he has run out of time to be able to move forward with the complete package. "The goal is not reached in eight months," he said. Yes, he has defended that his Government has managed to put an end to some highly criticized measures such as the so-called sun tax that slowed the introduction of self-consumption.
Pedro Sanchez has also confirmed one of the most controversial measures of the draft bill on climate change: the veto on the sale of vehicles that emit carbon dioxide as of 2040. Sanchez has stressed that these and other measures are fully consistent with the plans of the European Commission.
The setting of a date for the end of the combustion engines has aroused criticism from the employers of car manufacturers, Anfac, who accused of going to Spain for free in Europe in this matter.