Press Releases

23/07/2018

SPAIN MAY NOT COMPLY WITH THE CONDITIONS ON THE CLOSURE OF COAL MINES, WARN NGOs

 

EN NP ENDESA petición carbón
11/07/2018

SPANISH ORGANIZATIONS IN EUROPE BEYOND COAL REQUEST ENDESA SHUTDOWN TIMETABLE FOR THE CLOSURE OF ITS COAL-FIRED POWER PLANTS

EN NP ENDESA petición carbón
18/01/2018

SPAIN´S ENERGY POLICIES BROUGHT BEFORE THE UN COMMITTEE ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD BY ENVIRONMENTAL LAWYERS

 

CRC IIDMA CIEL
11/05/2017

ENEL STOPS BLOOD COAL IMPORTS FROM COLOMBIA AND COMMITS TO CLOSING TWO COAL POWER PLANTS IN SPAIN BY 2020

 

Re:Common from Italy, the International Institute for Law and the Environment (IIDMA) from Spain and PAX from the Netherlands attended ENEL Annual General Meeting on May 4 as “critical” shareholders giving voice to affected communities in Colombia and requesting ENEL to provide a closure plan for the coal power plants owned by ENDESA in Spain.

 

After the interventions of representatives from these organizations, ENEL’s CEO Francesco Starace made important announcements:

 

After investigations on several sustainability topics including social issues and the respect of human rights of Drummond and Prodeco´s activities in Cesar  mining region of Colombia, ENEL informed shareholders that they did not find any evidence of on-going human right violations by the two companies, but ENEL did not exclude that past violations might have happen. In this regard and in their framework of progressively reducing coal imports for becoming carbon neutral by 2050, ENEL announced that it has stopped importing coal from Colombia as it did not renew its contracts at their scheduled termination with these two mining companies. PAX and Re:Common appreciate ENEL’s decision and urge mining companies Drummond and Prodeco to take the necessary steps to provide remedy for victims of violence. “Having said this, ENEL has to do much more on the coal issue. Promising to become carbon neutral by 2050 is completely inadequate. Power plants should be closed as soon as possible” said Giulia Franchi from Re:Common. The organization is particularly concerned about written statements by Enel to shareholders regarding its coal plant in Brindisi, one of the largest and most polluting plants of Europe: “For next years Enel has further significant environmental investments for the Brindisi plant”. Such an approach would cause further harm to local communities, the environment and agriculture around the plant and the climate.

 

ENEL, which owns 70% of ENDESA, a major electricity company which owns more than half of coal installed capacity in Spain, confirmed it is committed to close Andorra and Compostilla coal power plants by 2020 and added that “they will not ask for more coal subsidies in Spain”. IIDMA celebrates this decision as it is an important first step towards coal phase out in Spain. Nevertheless, “it is necessary and urgent to develop a closure plan for the rest of the coal plants in order to meet the requirements of the Paris Agreement”, said Ana Barreira, Director of IIDMA. Despite this, ENEL announced investments in three other plants (As Pontes, Litoral and Alcudia) in order to meet EU standards. Also ENEL CEO stated for the first time that “According to me within 10-15 years we [as ENEL group] will not have any coal power plants”. According to IIDMA, ENEL’s commitment is on the right track But “It does not make sense to bet on a model based on coal burning, one of the most polluting and harmful fuels for our health, as there are other cleaner alternatives to produce electricity” stressed Barreira.

 

IIDMA and Re:Common presented a briefing which highlights ENEL´s responsibility in coal production in Spain and Portugal and in the absence of a closure plan for coal in the Iberian Peninsula. Thinking about a transition from coal in Italy –which still needs to be defined- without doing the same in Spain and Portugal would be a contradiction and a great injustice.

 

More information: Arantxa García (IIDMA): + 34 649 81 96 56/+ 34 91 308 68 46 //Antonio Tricarico (Re:Common): +39.328.84 85 448

03/02/2017

IIDMA, GREENPEACE AND WWF CELEBRATE THE RETIREMENT OF 932 MW OF COAL IN THE SPANISH ELECTRICITY SYSTEM

 

The retirement of a total of five coal units in Spain in 2016: Elcogás, Puertollano, Soto de Ribera II, Narcea I and Compostilla II has been confirmed. This retirement represents a decrease of 8.5% of the installed capacity of coal in Spain with respect to the previous year. In addition, according to the latest data from Red Eléctrica Española a reduction in coal use for power generation was also seen in 2016 following a two-year (2014 and 2015) increase.

 

Coal is the main source of greenhouse gas emissions such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and other pollutants like nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2) and dust which are as dangerous to our health as they are to the environment. In fact, in 2016, coal accounted for 56 percent of the total CO2 emissions generated by Spain’s electricity sector.

 

We’re celebrating the withdrawal of 932 MW of coal in 2016 as it’s a step forward in the fight against climate change”, states Ana Barreira, director of the Instituto Internacional de Derecho y Medioambiente (IIDMA). “But a planned retirement of the remaining 10,004.27 MW of Spanish coal-powered plants by 2025 is still needed in order for Spain to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement. In fact, Spain’s instrument of ratification was published just yesterday in the Spanish Official Journal”.

 

The majority of Spanish coal power plants are included in the Transitional National Plan (TNP). This plan allows plants to emit higher levels of NOx, SO2 and dust than those established by the European Union’s Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) until June 2020—a date by which all the necessary modifications to comply with the IED must be made, or the plant must close its doors. A list of all the affected plants is included within the plan. The Spanish TNP was approved by the Council of Ministers on Nov. 25, 2016.

 

According to the plan, these plants must respect the emission ceilings for all pollutants. These are calculated depending on the plants which are included in said plan”, says IIDMA Lawyer Carlota Ruiz. “However, the plan approved last November includes Compostilla II, although this group had been previously shut down—a mishap that could lead to an artificial raise of the emission ceilings, allowing other plants included in the plan to emit much more than what is legally established”.

 

Tatiana Nuño from Greenpeace points out “In addition, in 2021, plants that continue operating must count with the best available techniques foreseen in the Large Combustion Plants Best Available Techniques Reference Document, which is about to be approved by the EU and which includes stricter emission limit values than those set out by the IED”. 

 

“In 2018 aid to coal mining must come to an end according to a Decision by the European Commission”, says Raquel Monzón, Energy Officer from WWF.“If all coal plants close by 2025, renewable energy will cover almost 100% of electricity generation which would reduce greenhouse gas emissions and have a positive impact on the health of Spanish citizens”, she adds.

 

This release was made in collaboration with Greenpeace and WWF Spain.

18/11/2016

ÁLVARO NADAL SE LAVA LAS MANOS EN EL ASUNTO DEL CARBÓN (ÁLVARO NADAL WASHES HIS HANDS OVER COAL USE)

 

Editor’s Note: This press release was published and distributed in Spanish. Should you need a complete translation of this release, or would like further information, please contact our Communications Department.

15/11/2016

EL REINO UNIDO DICE NO AL CARBÓN DESPUES DEL 2025: Y ESPAÑA ¿CUÁNDO? (UK SAYS NO TO COAL AFTER 2025: WHAT ABOUT SPAIN?)

 

Editor’s Note: This press release was published and distributed in Spanish. Should you need a complete translation of this release, or would like further information, please contact our Communications Department.

13/10/2016

SPAIN’S COAL POWER PLANTS CONTINUE TO OPERATE DESPITE BREAKING THE LAW

 

Not only is Spain’s plan that exempts power plants to comply with stricter emissions values established by the EU unlawful, but it is also out-of-date.

 

According to a European Directive, power plants in member states may apply for an exemption via a Transitional National Plan (TNP) that allows them to continue to emit higher levels of pollutants — including sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and dust — than those provided by the Directive into the atmosphere until 2020.

 

And, although the current plan was accepted by the European Commission in March, it was never approved by the Spanish Council of Ministers, nor was it published in the state’s official journal (Boletín Oficial del Estado) as required by law.

 

Spain’s current TNP lists 30 installations of which 22 use coal as fuel. However, the plan is anything but accurate: it lets plants emit higher levels of pollutants than those allowed for by the EU, and includes a power plant that closed its doors two months before the European Commission adopted the last version of the plan — an inclusion that raises the total emissions ceiling allowed for the rest of the plants within the plan.

 

In addition to these flaws, the plan does not comply with Spanish Law. According to the law, once the European Commission adopts the plan prepared by the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment, it must be approved by the Spanish Council of Ministers.

 

“Since January 2016, coal power plants in Spain are operating under a plan that does not comply with the rule of law requirements, and thus, continue to damage our health and the environment,” states Ana Barreira, director of the Instituto Internacional de Derecho y Medio Ambiente (IIDMA).

 

The TNP has not been subject to a strategic environmental impact assessment as is required by international, EU and national laws,” adds Barreira, “and, as a consequence, the Spanish TNP has never been subject to a public participation procedure as required by those laws.”

 

The TNP is just one of a number of exemptions that coal power plants can opt for to continue emitting higher levels of pollutants that those provided by the EU’s Industrial Emissions Directive (IED).Emissions that, according to the report “Lifting Europe’s Dark Cloud,” already caused 1,530 premature deaths in 2013 in Spain alone. Other exemptions in the IED include an option for power plants to limit their hours of operation to 17,500 hours over the next eight years or, in the case of plants being part of a smaller, isolated grid, they can continue to exceed the EU’s limits until 2019.

 

The government contends that coal power plants are needed to maintain an adequate safety margin within the country’s electrical grid. However, this is not the case: eliminating coal would not threaten this safety margin as Spain’s current electrical system operates at a 30 percent overcapacity.

27/04/2016

EL CARBÓN NO TIENE CABIDA EN UN MODELO ENERGÉTICO SOSTENIBLE (THERE’S NO ROOM FOR COAL IN A SUSTAINABLE ENERGY MODEL)

 

Editor’s Note: This press release was published and distributed in Spanish. Should you need a complete translation of this release, or would like further information, please contact our Communications Department.

21/04/2016

TODOS RECONOCEN QUE EL CARBÓN ES UN PROBLEMA, PERO ALGUNES LO APOYAN CON DISCURSOS INCOHERENTES (EVERYONE KNOWS COAL IS A PROBLEM, BUT SOME SUPPORT IT WITH INCOHERENT DISCOURSE)

 

Editor’s Note: This press release was published and distributed in Spanish. Should you need a complete translation of this release, or would like further information, please contact our Communications Department.

01/07/2014

DE AARHUS A MAASTRICHT: UN PEDREGOSO CAMINO HACIA EL CUMPLIMIENTO (FROM AARHUS TO MAASTRICHT: A ROCKY ROAD TOWARDS COMPLIANCE)

 

Editor’s Note: This press release was published and distributed in Spanish. Should you need a complete translation of this release, or would like further information, please contact our Communications Department.

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