‘Climatic chaos’: activists furious as Brussels approves Iberian energy mechanism

(EurActiv, 9 Jun 2022) The European Commission approved on Wednesday an €8.4 billion Spanish and Portuguese scheme aimed at reducing the wholesale electricity prices in the Iberian market by lowering the input costs of gas-fired power stations.

Portuguese Environment Minister José Duarte Cordeiro said the mechanism would “guarantee some predictability in the maximum electricity prices”.

Speaking at the Galp Electric Summit’s opening on Wednesday (8 June), he said: “There are many countries that are taking advantage of these moments to go backwards; Portugal cannot. We have to take advantage of the opportunity we have from the point of view of our natural resources and not look at these crises as an excuse to go backwards,” he said.

The government approved the Iberian mechanism to limit the price of gas for electricity production on 13 May, which will allow families and companies to reduce their electricity bills. This came after the Portuguese and Spanish governments reached a political agreement in Brussels with the European Commission to establish a temporary mechanism to set the average gas price at €50 per megawatt-hour (MWh).

Duarte Cordeiro’s intervention was interrupted by climate activists, who protested against the government and Galp.

“The gentlemen gathered here today on this stage are the ones who brought us to climatic chaos. […] Whoever sets up an energy expansion cannot sell it as a transition”, said one of the activists, who stood on a chair to speak shortly after the start of the minister’s speech.

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EurActiv, 9 Jun 2022: ‘Climatic chaos’: activists furious as Brussels approves Iberian energy mechanism