We are at the dawn of the key era for addressing climate change

We cannot just set our sights on 2050 or wait until 2030. Everyone has to act right now, with real, measurable actions

Ignacio Galán

CEO of Iberdrola

In an opinion piece published by leading newspaper El País, the chairman of Iberdrola group, Ignacio Galán, calls on governments to be more ambitious when setting their climate targets for 2030 to keep global warming to below 1.5ºC: We cannot just set our sights on 2050 or wait until 2030. Everyone has to act right now, with real, measurable actions”.

To mark the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement, which was approved on 12 December 2015, the chairman underlined the importance of this “historic milestone” which represented the “unanimous acknowledgement of global warming” as “one the greatest threats to humankind”, but above all, was a scenario of “unprecedented commitment”. A total of 195 countries agreed to keep the increase in global temperatures to below 2ºC and to reach peak emissions as soon as possible. To do so, the countries of the world committed to spending the necessary funds and promoting innovation and technology transfer to provide an efficient response to the challenge.

According to Galán, this approach involved, “generating a real paradigm shift in the energy industry towards a sustainable model“, where production using polluting sources would be replaced by clean generation and the electrification of the economy would be intensified as the fastest, most efficient way to achieve decarbonisation”.

The last five years have seen some important progress in this direction. More and more investment institutions and markets are making sustainability and climate action an essential factor in their decision-making processes. Companies are increasingly opting to invest in clean solutions, evaluating climate risk in their decision strategies, and measurably demonstrating their social and environmental commitment. Along with this trend, there has been a technological revolution in the sphere of clean energies, which have become more efficient and cheaper.

Despite COVID-19, which has had a decisive impact on climate change negotiations, the chairman of Iberdrola believes that the current situation will make it possible to “speed up the decarbonisation of the global economy”. Governments all over the world are making green investment a top priority in stimulus packages to help with recovery, “aware that they are contributing to building more competitive, resilient and healthy economies”, explains”, Galán.

“All this progress gives us room for optimism as we embark on a key decade. However, we must not delay, because the progress made in the last five years has not been enough to meet the targets”, he adds.

The Iberdrola group chairman points out that the company foresaw the need to align its policies with the intentions of what would become the Paris Agreement more than 20 years ago: “And we are still speeding up”. Recently, the company presented a strategic plan in the run up to 2025, which entails investments in clean energies, networks and storage to the tune of €75 billion. “The plan will enable us to grow our global workforce and put us on the path to carbon neutrality in Europe by as soon as 2030 - 20 years ahead of the target set by the European Union”, said Galán.