a recent Greenpeace installation at the Brandenburg Gate
Brussels accused of risking industrial capacity in the name of energy transition. Image: a recent Greenpeace installation at the Brandenburg Gate

Brussels too focussed on environmental sustainability – Galp CEO

“Risks killing industrial capacity”

The CEO of Portugal’s main energy company GALP, has said today that “the fortress that Europe is building in terms of environmental sustainability seems to work very well on paper, but it will be expensive, and risks killing industrial capacity”.

Filipe Silva’s warnings were made during a debate analysing the prospects for energy transition taking into account security, accessibility and decarbonisation, held as part of the Lisbon Energy Summit & Exhibition 2023, which is running until Thursday (June 1).

He noted that Brussels “is very focused on electrons”, reminding that 80% of the European energy mix is still of fossil origin, and expressing doubts, says Lusa, that the measures and the “fortress” that is being created, can work.

In this context, he pointed out some of the gaps he sees in the path that is being outlined in terms of environmental and energy transition – namely that of a level playing field.

Europe operates in a global world“, this “is a global problem, that there is only one atmosphere, and we have to make sure we comply with the same rules”, he said, explaining that the rules and bans that are planned risk “killing” Europe’s industrial capacity that will migrate to other parts of the world, such as China or India, where it will be cheaper to produce.

Filipe Silva also warned that the transition will be “very costly” at a time of high inflation and interest rates.

He stressed that the process “works on paper” but that voters will have to believe in the energy transition because “it will cost them money“.

This was not the only ‘alternative view’ expressed today by Filipe Silva. He also told the conference that “not having Russian gas is bad for the environment”, explaining that the lack of Russian gas on the market has obliged the refining industry to seek other solutions which end up being more polluting. “We have had to burn naphtha instead of natural gas”, he told his audience – Naphtha being a highly flammable chemical substance on the Hazardous Substance List.

Source material: LUSA/ Expresso