According to Josu Jon Imaz, Repsol CEO, “it is not acceptable that there are industries which have to stop because they cannot assume the energy costs”. So he has asked the European institutions to immediately put more CO2 rights on the market which, in his opinion, would have an “immediate effect” on consumers’ electricity bills and on the competitiveness of industry.
Imaz said that “European consumers are paying an oversized electricity bill because of CO2 rights whose prices are driven by the engine of financial speculation”. He indicated that industry is “stopping operations” in Spain because “it cannot compete for electricity prices, which are also driven by these CO2 rights”.
“Without renouncing climate ambition in any way, and as a temporary measure over a specific time, the European institutions should immediately put more CO2 rights on the market to bring down the price of CO2. They can do it in 24 hours if they want to and this would have an immediate effect on consumers’ bills and on the competitiveness of industry”, he added.
He explained that it is not a question of “slacking off” on the energy transition and climate ambitions. But he explained that, given the high gas prices, many coal plants in China and the US which could be powered by coal and gas are switching from gas to coal. And “CO2 emissions are increasing in the world, as a result of the fact that there has been no investment in gas”.
Imaz said that the key is to be able to tackle the fight against climate change and “at the same time boost industry”. The Repsol CEO argued that the energy transition is “indispensable”, but “not a transition in any way”. In his opinion, it must be a “fair” transition. “And fair is not to close the steelworks and then put an “interpreting centre” with four jobs, in order to dedicate ourselves to tourism. That is not a just transition”, he added. It must be a transition that is “competitive, efficient and based on existing technological and industrial capacities”. “Not a transition that is a joke”.
A transition has to be made “with consumers and industry in mind” Imaz said. In this respect, he added that “it is not acceptable” to have to “face months in which families have to pay 220 or 250 euros per MW/h of electricity generated or that there are industries having to stop “because they cannot deal with the energy costs”.