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Latest info > News > Imma Mayol: “The closure of nuclear power stations in Catalonia is one of the prime objectives to be carried out in the next 15 years, in terms of defining a new energy model”

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03 / 06 / 2004
Imma Mayol: “The closure of nuclear power stations in Catalonia is one of the prime objectives to be carried out in the next 15 years, in terms of defining a new energy model”

The president of the Barcelona Energy Agency, Imma Mayol, said in the closing act of the Dialogue on “Energy and Sustainable Development” and in the press conference that followed that “the nuclear power stations in Catalonia should be shut down when they reach the end of their working life, within the next 15 years. But the challenge that faces us comes in making sure that this shutdown is not brought about through increasing fossil fuel consumption”. Mayol, said that in Barcelona 49% of the energy used comes from nuclear power stations and mentioned that this situation can be extrapolated on a global level. She urged for the use of natural gas as a transitional energy source and not as a replacement energy

Imma Mayol explained “the first thing we have to do is plan the transitional phase replacing nuclear energy with renewable energies and step up the use of natural gas. Then we have to reduce consumption because people want quality in the supply of energy sources, not quantity. In third place, we should push for the introduction of energy efficient buildings, as we are doing in Catalonia, given that as of 2006 this will be compulsory, in line with European Union regulations”. She also mentioned “in terms of a new energy model, we need enormous collaboration from NGOs, ecologists, scientists and from society at large. This should come in the form of an alliance between the political and economic sectors where clarity and public interest are priorities”

The speakers concluded that the three main themes to spearhead this new energy model are based on, in the first instance, making an effort to reduce consumption in the developed world, in improving energy efficiency, mainly in terms of buildings, and lastly to make progress in renewable energy sources. “There should be an agreement in the implementation of an energy plan, because we can’t have a situation where 2,000 million people live without energy and on the other hand, 15% of the population consume 53% of the world’s energy resources”, declared Mayol.

Bertrand Charrier, vice president of Green Cross International, affirmed “the time has come to think about changing the model of consumption in the developed world, because the problem is global. In spite of this, the solutions have to be local. We have to think how we use cars and find individual solutions, in addition to encouraging debates in schools and within industry”.

Alberto Fraguas, director of Green Cross in Spain, added that it is civil society that should “get into gear” to come up with solutions and demand governments to legislate new energy policies, because “there is unanimous agreement in which the risks that we were assuming in the past are starting to be too high, given that climate change is happening very fast. We have to create a trend towards shutting down nuclear power stations without this resulting in wide-scale disruption. Agenda 21 is a good occasion to lead the way for change”.

Fraguas said that the Kyoto Protocol has only been 40% adhered to by the Spanish State, and that advances in this sense have to be made in order to complete the commitments that have been undertaken. According to Fraguas, Kyoto and creating trends that encourage shutting down nuclear power stations are central to the debate. He went on to affirm that it is necessary to have “a new energy culture”.

For his part, Pedro Ralda, coordinator of the Dialogues, said that 800 people were accredited to the debates on water and 500 have been accredited for the debates on energy. He added “people have not only come to hear Mikhail Gorbachev but they have also stayed to take part in the two days of debates”. He also informed that “an agreement on water has been drawn up, as a right for all of Mankind, and the conclusions on the Forum’s debates on energy will be presented at the National Environmental Conference to be held in Madrid in November”.