The draft Climate Change Act, which Vice-President Teresa Ribera sent to Parliament last May for a theoretical military walk because of the general coincidence that ecological transition is necessary, has encountered an increasingly difficult process. The ultimate goal of not emitting greenhouse gases by 2050 is not discussed, but the way to do so and the damage it can do on the way to industry and employment.
Although the PSOE promised in its election campaign that it would only introduce a law with “maximum social and political consensus”, The Ribera text has ended up receiving 758 amendments,according to which it has been able to revise this newspaper after the end this week of the deadline. All parties have objected, from PP, Ciudadanos and Vox, to independenceists or even regular members of the Government such as the PNV, New Canary Islands, More Country or Teruel exists. «I am a spokesperson for the PP in the parliamentary committee and no one has yet called me for any consensus. The law is necessary, but improveable. It lacks ambition and vision of innovation on the one hand and has caused concern in all sectors at a time of crisis, from large industries to small livestock farms,” sums up popular MP Diego Gago.
When Ribera referred the law to Congress, he stressed that the text had already been “enriched” in its previous pre-draft stage “with input from various social and economic actors, autonomous communities and local authorities”, but has not been sufficient.
Even PSOE and Podemos have taken advantage of the processing to introduce 25 amendments, including forcing all non-residential buildings to enable electric car charging points in their car parks or the ban on the manufacture of uranium in Spain before 2023. The Berkeley company yesterday raised 17% on the stock exchange after doubts that PSOE and Podemos will succeed in carrying out the amendment in the jammed processing of the law.
The deadline for submitting amendments to the project has been extended up to ten times since last May although it is the instrument of the country’s so-called ‘climate emergency’. Particularly striking are the 20 amendments tabled by the PNV, a key parliamentary partner of the Government of Pedro Sánchez, because several of them are far from fearing dogmatism that further harms industry in the aftermath of the pandemic crisis.
An example is that the PNV requires that, among the guiding principles of the standard in Article 2, the ‘technological neutrality’ principles be added. “In a transition process of at least 30 years it seems premature to close the door to certain technologies. Especially when there is a great uncertainty associated with technological developments and that surely it will be necessary to have a mix of technologies and energies to meet the different energy needs”, justifies its spokesman Aitor Esteban.
It also pours water on one of the standard’s flagship measures: the 2040 ban on new vehicles emitting carbon dioxide to make them all electric. The PNV, like other parliamentary groups including PP and Citizens and companies in the automotive sector, defends the ban but for vehicles with ‘zero net emissions’, which is more lax and still allows other energies to survive.
In general, the PNV argues that Ribera does not legislate without further regard to industry and calls for “linking the ecological transition to industrial policy and R&D”. It even calls for the Ministry of Industry to rule “in advance” on any future plan launched by the Government under the new law in case they create a risk of industrial relocation.
“The bill does not talk about hydrogen, rail transport, offshore wind energy, to give examples of lack of innovation,” says Gago, a proponent of a hundred amendments. Ciudadanos has presented more than 50 and, Esquerra, 70 criticizing for their share invasion of competences, as far as the PNV coincides. The intended consensus is complicated.