The year of extremes experienced in Spain in 2023 or the dark predictions predicted for the Mediterranean in the short term are not isolated facts. Both show that climate change is making our planet increasingly uninhabitable. Because of this, mitigation measures are not an option, but the latest report from the European Climate Neutrality Observatory (ECNO) ensures that in some countries of the bloc, they are not enough, and it takes us further from the goals set for 2030 than we think.
Spain, Italy, Sweden, the Netherlands,, and Hungary. These are the five countries shown in the ECNO document—the independent control body of net zero—for implementing “insufficiently detailed and inconsistent” climate policies in some of its sections. The conclusions come a month after the European Commission published its assessment of blotters presented by European governments to update their respective energy and climate plans.
As a result of this, the observatory found gaps in transparency important to the the National Energy and Climate Plans (NECP) of the states on the block. When done well, these projects provide valuable information about mitigation measures implemented in a decade-long crisis like the current one. But if done poorly or worded inconsistently, they can also serve as a smokescreen that can push investments to the detriment of long-term climate goals.
The new Spanish PNIEC, under examination
In 2020, the Ministry for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge presented the National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan 2021–2030 (PNIEC) in Brussels with the aim of establishing clear objectives for the development of clean energy, reduction of emissions, and expansioto establish June 2023, the government revised the project objectives and updated them, expanding the goals of photovoltaic and wind energy.
Despite the Ministry’s ambitious proposals, the Energy Plan is one of the documents on display in the ECNO report. Sectors where the transparency gap is most highlighted are agriculture, forests, land use, and, above all, buildings. This last section is, by far, the worst-rated in the report.
Experts point to the lack of transparency in the climate plan, especially in matters such as hydrogen changeable. In this case, for example, what is criticized is that while the estimates based on the PNIEC figures and changeen strategy suggest an increase in potential exports, the PNIEC project itself speaks of the need to increase imports.
The second disability has to do with carbon capture and storage. The report recalls that our plan states that Spain should develop long-term CO2 capture technologies to a limited extent. “To achieve this, the country must make deep cuts” in other sectors beyond the industrial sector, which may, they say, “be difficult to achieve.”
The European Climate Neutrality Observatory The “inconsistency” that the Spanish draft does not reveal clearer details about its strategies in this regard makes it ugly, while also “not rejecting the use of technology, suggesting low-quality planning” that it shares with other countries in the bloc, such as Sweden.
The Global Strategic Communications Council (GSCC) points out in this regard that “PNIEC lacks concrete plans to reduce 12.9 million tons of carbon dioxide for 2030.”. This corresponds to a “lack of transparency about 14% of the reductions planned between 2021 and 2030,” they say, due to the method used by the authors of the study.
The examination of Brussels
The ECNO report supports the European Commission’s evaluation of the bloc’s countries’ drafts. In all of this, not only in Spain, Brussels pointed out that “there is a clear need to make more efforts” and provided recommendations for each of the 21 capitals that submitted their programs at the time of evaluation.
ECNO and the Commission calls on Member States to improve the quality and consistency of their formulations to ensure that the goals set in this critical decade of climate action are met. And they have six months to do it. The final NECP presentation is scheduled for June 30, 2024.
Until then, Spain has not been able to explain in more detail how it will correct the gaps in transparency in the aforementioned areas. It is also necessary, according to the claims of the European Commission that they also recalled from the GSCC, to “detail in more detail” how it will face challenges such as energy poverty, the cessation of subsidies for fossil fuels, or the construction of “acceleration” areas for the implementation of wind and photovoltaic parks.
There are also positive aspects
But apart from all this, it is not all bad to examine the new draft of the Executive communitysince this also positively highlighted some of the strengths of PNIEC. Among them, he appreciated that the pcommunity sincemeasures to strengthen the security of energy supply” and “ambitious targets for the production of renewable gas”.
In the same way, the Commission praised that the Spanish roadmap focuses on “relevant climate vulnerabilities and risks that affect the achievement of goals, objectives, and contributions in terms of energy and climate mitigation “, as well as the co-government with different administrations and a “great participation” of companies, institutions and citizens who serve as a sample of Spain’s widespread commitment to achieving the 2030 goals.
And that’s it Our country is one of the Member States that currently has a contribution to the development of ‘green’ energy above the EU average. Although our progress is slower in terms of decarbonization, Spain is one of the 10 countries with the best performance in this matter and aims to have 81% of electricity generation renewable within 6 years.