Spanish Green Growth Group welcomes COP28 and notes that new climate targets are feasible and will create opportunities for society as a whole
- Gonzalo Sáenz de Miera, President of the Spanish Green Growth Group (GECV) participated this morning in the event ‘COP28 Dubai: The Day After’ organized by SUST4IN and Fundación Iberdrola España at the Casa de América in Madrid
- The Group was one of the collaborating entities of the event, which brought together numerous experts, companies, and organizations
- The event was attended by Valvanera Ulargui, director of the Spanish Climate Change Office, who stressed that “there is a global consensus that the energy transition must take place in this decade and there is a clear call to prioritize the technologies necessary for this: those related to renewable energies and energy efficiency”
Madrid, December 20, 2023 – The Spanish Group for Green Growth (GECV) participated this morning in the event ‘COP28 Dubai: The Day After’ organized by SUST4IN and Fundación Iberdrola España at the Casa de América in Madrid, with the collaboration of numerous companies and organizations.
The event was inaugurated by Enrique Ojeda, general director of Casa de América, Marcio Viegas, founder and general director of SUST4IN, and Fernando García Sánchez, president of Fundación Iberdrola España, who recalled the fundamental role of companies in the fight against climate change: “two decades ago, as a large company, we committed to minimize our impact on the rise in the planet’s temperature, and subsequently we extended this commitment to our environment to promote decarbonization wherever we can. It is fundamental for the health of the planet, it is timely because it is in line with the objectives agreed in Europe and at the Climate Summits, and it is beneficial for its economic opportunities and for the well-being of all citizens“.
Subsequently, the debate was structured in two tables: the first, composed of: Ana Barreira, founding director of the International Institute of Law and Environment (IIDMA); Paulina Beato, president of the Barcelona School of Economics and Víctor Viñuales, executive director of ECODES. The second round table was completed by Cristina Rivero, director of the Industry, Energy, Environment and Climate Department of the CEOE; Francisco Heras, from the Adaptation Strategies Area of the OECC; Juan Azcárate, deputy director general of Energy and Climate Change of the Madrid City Council; Mar Asunción, head of the Climate and Energy Program of WWF Spain; and Toni Ballabriga, global director of Responsible Business at BBVA.
The first round table was moderated by Gonzalo Sáenz de Miera, president of the Spanish Group for Green Growth and director of Climate Change and Alliances at Iberdrola, who made a very positive assessment of the COP because “for the first time an express call has been made to abandon fossil fuels under strict conditions: accelerate climate action in this decade, achieve net zero emissions by 2050 and base action on science”. He also highlighted “the importance of the agreement to achieve the goal of tripling renewable capacity and doubling energy efficiency improvements by 2030. This transition is urgent, it is necessary and it is possible”. Saénz de Miera recalled that “meeting the renewable and energy efficiency targets agreed at COP28 is economically viable and will allow us to enjoy a competitive and secure energy supply. We have the technologies, what we need are policies that accelerate the energy transition and work together in alliances“.
Finally, she pointed out that “these commitments that have been agreed must be translated into policies and regulatory frameworks that provide the right signals to boost the huge volume of investment needed throughout the economy“.
The main speaker of the day was Valvanera Ulargui, Director General of the Spanish Climate Change Office, who played a key role in Dubai. In her presentation she stated that Spain came out of COP28 with a positive assessment: “We had a clear objective in the negotiations: to verify that the global governance of Paris worked. Without the Paris Agreement we would be at 4ºC, and today we can assess the acceleration that has taken place in the transition and thus keep the level of the Earth’s temperature below 1.5ºC“. This possibility of making an honest analysis, according to Ulargui, serves to know where we have to go: “After 30 years working for this transition, this agreement has resulted in a package that calls for aligning efforts. Many things have fallen by the wayside and will have to be put back on the table, but the main thing is that there is consensus that the energy transition has to take place in this decade and there is a clear call to prioritize the technologies needed for it: those related to renewable energies and energy efficiency“.
Finally, the second roundtable was led by Marcio Viegas, founder and CEO of SUST4IN who, as he made clear in his opening remarks, “Today we are not only here as agents seeking alliances and agreements against climate change. The consensus reached at COP28 is historic, but the climate crisis is also historic. The most important thing now is to understand these commitments so that a fair, ambitious, and urgent transition can be carried out“. The second presentation was also represented by Toni Ballabriga, member of the Board of Directors and global director of Responsible Business at BBVA, who brought a financial perspective to the conclusions of the Climate Summit: “A redefinition of the global financial architecture is necessary to attract new investors. The transformation involved in the transition is of such magnitude that to attract private capital it must make economic sense and be fair, otherwise our clients will not invest.”
The Spanish Group for Green Growth is an association formed by more than 50 companies of various sizes, profiles, and sectors that share that the green transition, besides being necessary, is a great opportunity for its multiple returns: competitiveness, employment, natural capital, energy security… They are part of companies representing 40% of the IBEX and also SMEs involved in innovation, totaling 250,000 workers.