Spain in last-ditch attempt to submit EU climate plan

(EurActiv, 21 Feb 2019) Madrid lawmakers are racing against time to sign off on an energy and climate plan for 2030 before domestic politics derail the process. Spain and Luxembourg are now the only two member states that still haven’t submitted national plans, originally due by the end of 2018.

Seven EU countries missed the 31 December deadline set by the European Commission but five have since handed in plans for the next decade. The EU executive wants to check that member states are on the right path to hit the bloc’s new energy and climate targets.

EU negotiators have now agreed on all the new rules for the next decade, including overall renewables and energy efficiency targets. The EU executive will carry out a stocktake to see if national efforts will all add up to the right amount.

But Spain had to start from scratch with its plan: ecological transition minister Teresa Ribera said in January that her socialist government only had six months to work on its submission after taking power in summer 2018.

Asked if her services had discarded what Mariano Rajoy’s People’s Party had come up with, Ribera revealed that “not a single word had been written” before she took office.

In January, the minister said the draft plan will be “submitted soon” and now government ministers will meet on Friday (22 February) in the hope of approving Ribera’s draft strategy.

Although it would then need parliamentary approval, as with any other policy, sources told EURACTIV that the plan would be sent to the Commission anyway, even though snap elections will be held at the end of April, with no guarantee that Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez will emerge triumphant.

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EurActiv, 21 Feb 2019: Spain in last-ditch attempt to submit EU climate plan