Online Breakfast-Debate with Cristina Lobillo Borrero, Director of Energy Policy at DG ENER of the European Commission: The role of European energetic policy in achieving the objectives of the Green Deal

On Tuesday 10th November, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg organised a new virtual breakfast debate within the framework of its “Business Circle” platform. The breakfast focused on “The role of European energetic policy in achieving the objectives of the Green Deal” and Cristina Lobillo, Director of Energy Policy at DG ENER of the European Commission was the guest speaker.

Pablo López Álvarez, Vicepresident of the Chamber and moderator of the event, welcomed and thanked the speakers as well as all the attendees.

Afterwards, on behalf of the member company and sponsor of the eventRepsol, its Director of Institutional Affairs Spain & Europe, Marta Camacho Parejo, took the floor and thanked the speaker. Camacho highlighted the groundbreaking commitment of Repsol to the fight against climate change, as demonstrated by the fact of being the first energy company to commit to climate neutrality by 2050 or to sign the Kyoto Protocol. In order to achieve this ambitious goal, the enterprise is committed to a change of paradigm that involves the circular economy, technological neutrality, and the concept of the ‘refinery of the future’, based on hydrogen and synthetic fuels. Marta also pointed out urban fuels and biofuels as the necessary path for a relatively rapid decarbonisation of our economies, that will allow us to meet emission reduction and climate neutrality targets. Finally, she concluded by highlighting the value of industrial hubs in order to generate an innovative European industry that is a source of employment and economic value.

Cristina Lobillo Borrero began by outlining the strategy followed by the Commission over the last decade in terms of reduction of greenhouse gases, such as the reduction targets for 2020, the energy regulatory packages since 2007, and the Paris Agreement.Today, we face a scenario of renewed climate ambition.As a result of this ambition, the current European Commission made an ambitious commitment to reduce emissions by 55% for 2030 and achieve climate neutrality for the continent by 2050 through the Green Deal. Also, in this regard, the Commission launched the proposal for a Climate Law, currently under negotiation, as well as the implementation of a fair transition mechanism to assist with investments and adequate funds for those sectors that need more renovation or will be most affected.

Lobillo also put emphasis on the work being done by the Commission. They are working to propose in the work programme for 2021 a whole range of legislation that also includes the revision of some energy directives.  All this from a realistic approach based on impact studies. The speaker also explain the link between the recovery fund (Next Generation EU) and the Commission’s priorities, since obtaining these funds will be linked to the objectives of the Green Deal, the digital transition and the European semester. Finally, Lobillo highlighted the international reality in which it is more necessary than ever for the EU, which produces barely 9% of global emissions, to remain active in international forums in order to ensure that the major economic centres also commit to climate neutrality.

During the round of questions, the participants were able to express their doubts and comments on many areas of interest. Thus, topics such as the capacity of Member States to absorb all recovery funds given their volume, the proposals for the border adjustment mechanism with regard to carbon or the European hydrogen strategy or the renewal of the gas sector were discussed.

From the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg we would like to thank Cristina Lobillo Borrero, our member company Repsol for sponsoring this event and all attendees for joining this event.

Event sponsored by: