The Spanish government points to the danger of extremism in the ecological transition

by Lorraine Williamson
Paradores

SEVILLE – “The rise of extremism” and “denial” could lead to a “backslide” in reforms or questioning the country’s ecological and digital transition. 

So said the Spanish Minister of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, Raquel Sánchez during her closing speech at the Climate Action Seville Summit. She also noted that Spain has “a lot” at stake at the moment and projects for the ecological transformation of the industry should not be “endangered”. 

The minister deplored the behaviour of the climate deniers, with the “active complicity of a so-called moderate right” who, according to their political alliances, “justify positions and act as their sounding board”. Sánchez avoided speaking about any particular party. 

Sustainability as a common thread 

She explained that sustainability will be the common thread during Spain’s presidency of the European Council and stated that reducing “vulnerabilities” will position the European Union as a “pool of attraction” for investment, job generation and “regaining its role” in the world order. 

Sustainability must also be socially oriented 

The minister stressed that sustainability should not only be environmental but also social, so one of the priorities will be to reform the tax rules away from “the austerity policies of the past that have caused so much damage”. 

Transport 

In the field of transport, she stated that Spain wants to become a reference point in the field of “new mobility” and stressed that the country has more urgent needs than others, as 27.5% of greenhouse gas emissions come from transport, five points higher than the European average. 

In addition, this sector is responsible for 40% of total energy consumption, almost 9 points higher than the average, and “the main battle takes place in cities”, where 70% of emissions happen. 

Cogesa Expats

She cited the example of the government’s commitment to the Seville Metro, where it will fund half of the costs, although it does not own the infrastructure or “have powers in this area”. 

Sánchez also highlighted the 2.5 million free transport subscriptions so far this year and the planned 13 billion for sustainable mobility, of which 8 billion for railways, among other measures by the central government. 

Also read: Renfe attracts 27% more passengers in Spain thanks to free train tickets 

According to government estimates, sustainable mobility is expected to create 180,000 “highly skilled jobs and contribute to a GDP of about 20,000 million. 

Juan Espadas 

The minister was joined after the forum by PSOE-A leader Juan Espadas, who was present as former chair of the Committee of the Regions of the EU’s Environment, Energy and Climate Committee (2019-2022) and former mayor of Seville (2015-2022). 

Espadas stressed that we cannot “stand still” now, as there is an awareness and political will that “seems determined” to use all available resources. He called for “stable alliances” between governments with “concrete” plans, programs and actions, including a timetable, so that citizens have “a little less uncertainty”. Espadas sees it as a waste of time to pay attention to those who want to deny the climate emergency. In his eyes, it is “not a joke” and certainly cannot be an “ideological issue”. 

Source: EFEverde 

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