09 June 2022
On 9 June, the University of Deusto opened a new stage of its space for reflection, DeustoForum, with a meeting with Joseph McMonigle, Secretary General of the International Energy Forum-IEF, and Arantxa Tapia, Minister of Economic Development, Sustainability and Environment of the Basque Government, which addressed the global and local challenges of energy transition and decarbonisation for the coming years.
While it is true that the uncertainty generated by the current geopolitical situation due to the war in Ukraine is having a direct impact on the continued rise in gas demand and prices, Joseph McMonigle states that in October 2021 this trend was already on the rise, and that it responds to structural reasons to a greater extent, which urge a move towards greater energy diversification.
In this regard, the Secretary General of the IEF highlighted the need to stimulate investment in other energy sources that guarantee sustainable economic growth, as well as the development of a roadmap for forecasting future scenarios that will help in current energy policy decision-making, the support of governments and public institutions to develop and commercialise clean energies and technologies that move towards this energy transition and the improvement of accessibility in countries suffering from energy poverty, such as Sierra Leone, whose entire population consumes less energy than London's Heathrow Airport.
In turn, Arantxa Tapia, Basque Government Minister for Economic Development, Sustainability and the Environment, presented the "Basque Green Deal", a work plan that aims to reduce greenhouse gases by 45% by 2030 and achieve climate neutrality in the Basque Country by 2050. To this end, it has establishes short- and medium-term objectives to help build the foundations for a triple energy transition in the Basque Country: reducing the unemployment rate to below 10%, exceeding 40% of GDP in industry and advanced services, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30%, achieving a 20% share of renewable energies in final energy consumption and reducing dependence on other energy sources such as coal or natural gas, placing Basque industry at the centre of energy efficiency and favouring a circular economy, in which the energy generated can be stored and/or reused, reducing CO2 emissions.
To this end, the plan envisages the implementation of a sustainable mobility and transport system, the valorisation and recovery of disused industrial land through regeneration and decontamination, care for biodiversity to ensure territorial balance, and investment in infrastructures and technologies that enable the production and self-sufficiency of clean and alternative energies, such as hydrogen or lithium, among others.
We talk about what really matters
The climate emergency, fair and sustainable economic recovery, the reduction in geopolitical tension, the demographic challenge, migratory movements, education, faith and health, among others, are major issues of our time. Issues that, in some way, challenge us all and call us to action.
Therefore, in the face of the disinformation generated by the indiscriminate and not very rigorous bombardment of news from dubious sources or the result of particular interests, DeustoForum seeks in this new stage to reaffirm its commitment to the promotion of reflection, rigour and critical analysis, favouring a plural and respectful dialogue, which contributes to citizens’ knowledge and empowerment.