Spanish Socialists Face A Coal vs. Climate Dilemma
Brussels is ramping up the pressure to drop coal, but doing so could cost the fragile government crucial votes.
Spain’s new Socialist government is trying to strike a balance between its green ambitions and its red traditions.
With only a tenuous hold on power, the minority Socialist government can’t afford to offend Spain’s small but militant coal mining sector, but that risks going against the party’s green commitments.
Coal is only a marginal employer — the number of miners has plummeted from 13,000 in 1994 to only a little above 2,000. But for miners in the remaining coal enclaves — Asturias, Aragón, and Castilla y León — the coal exit favored by incoming Environment Minister Teresa Ribera is a life-or-death issue that could lead to a blowback against Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s government in next year’s series of elections.
“The party that changes energy policy in this region is implicitly changing industrial policy and heading toward a disaster and a loss of voters’ confidence,” said José Luis Alperi, leader of the Asturian mining trade union SOMA.
Asturias is a Socialist stronghold, and SOMA calculates that every coal miner supports 3.5 related jobs in industry and services.
via The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)
July 14, 2018 at 12:02AM