Decarbonisation requires shared responsibility between business and governments

Written by Ignacio S. Galán on 20 March 2017 in Thought Leader
Thought Leader

Decarbonisation requires a shared responsibility between business and governments, argues Ignacio S. Galán.

Ignacio S. Galán | Photo credit: Iberdrola

The path towards a decarbonised economy needs continued efforts and shared responsibility from both governments and corporations. The European Union first demonstrated its unquestioned leadership in the fight against climate change by setting very ambitious targets in its 2020 climate package. In 2015, through its active participation in the Paris agreement, it succeeded in promoting ambitious multilateral targets for the whole world. 

The European Commission's recent energy package once again confirms the EU's commitment to decarbonisation by setting out a new European energy model supporting the development of renewables and promoting energy efficiency for 2030.

At Iberdrola, we have been engaging proactively in the fight against climate change for over 15 years. We are now the number one wind energy producer worldwide. Our environmental commitment is reflected in a 31 per cent emissions reduction in the last five years, and 75 per cent since 2000 in Europe, thanks to 66 per cent of our global production capacity being emissions-free.


But much more still needs to be done by all stakeholders if we are to achieve what was promised in Paris. As part of our engagement, the target we have set ourselves for 2030 is a 50 per cent reduction in emissions from our 2007 levels. 

And, for those prepared to invest in the future, we firmly believe that the environmental challenge can be transformed into a true opportunity for wealth creation, investment and innovation.

We fully back the Commission's winter package proposals as they will provide an appropriate framework to meet the three aims of EU's energy policy - sustainability, security and affordability. A great step has been reached by the Commission on the integration of more new technologies into the system, as well as the aspiration of encouraging more active consumers in the market. Networks, and in particular smart grids, will be essential.

The Commission proposals enabling a higher penetration of renewables into the market should be widely welcomed by energy consumers as well as the energy sector as a whole. We also support the provisions allowing capacity mechanisms to ensure the firm and flexible backup capacity required for massive clean energy penetration while ensuring a secure supply.

Overall, the European Commission's strategic proposals create the right conditions to drive crucial investments in innovation and technology that can deliver Europe's energy efficiency and climate change targets. 

To improve competitiveness, non-energy related costs must be eliminated from electricity tariffs and shared among all energy sectors so that each of them plays its part in emission reductions.

Finally, measures that ensure higher electrification will promote decarbonisation and, consequently, the achievement of European targets.


About the author

Ignacio S. Galán is Chairman and CEO of Iberdrola


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