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03 / 06 / 2004
Luis Balairón: “Large amounts of carbon dioxide emissions are altering the composition of the atmosphere”

Present at the Dialogue “Energy and sustainable development” were experts who have researched global warning and climatic change, and analyzed possible solutions and preventive measures for this problem in the session entitled “Environmental risks: Who will pay the bill?”

Member of the National Meteorologial Institute, Luis Balairón, focused the environmental problem on carbon dioxide emissions “that are altering the composition of the atmosphere”. Bailarón explained that “never before have there been such high levels of carbon dioxide as there are now, which are only comparable with 15 million years ago inasmuch as it is essential to keep them within this limit and not exceed it, because to do so would be dangerous. Balairón added that if the emissions increase the greenhouse effect could lead us to an irreversible climatic change. In this respect, the INM expert explained that “we scientists are sure our planet will react when faced with these levels of carbon dioxide but just how we do not yet know”.

Luis Bailarón also explained that the climate change is causing greater polar warming, though not at the Equator, and rainfall is increasing at global level although decreasing in tropical zones. According to Bailarón “a warmer world is also a more humid world”, and he too has made some observations in relation to climatic change which assumes a risk, since it arises from and depends on population increase, energy and development. Luis Bailarón added that “environmental values should be reassessed and sustainable development should be assigned an importance before committing to a sudden change”.

The secretary-general of APPA, (Spanish Association of Renewable Energy Producers), Manuel Délas, explained the benefit of non-conventional energies. In this sense, Délas pointed out “that renewable energies have an environmental impact 31 times less than conventional energies, whilst wind-powered energy is four times cleaner than natural gas”. Délas believes that the Renewable Energies Promotion Plan 2000-2010 will be based on the assumption that 29% of energy will be green. The secretary-general of APPA said that energy policies “should be considered in terms of efficiency, savings and production of clean energies”.

The representative from the European Space Agency (ESA), Estefano Grucci, highlighted the importance of the view from space in terms of the environment. Grucci explained that “information from space is very useful in assessing environmental events, such as in the case of the Prestige”. In this sense, Grucci explained that “the data the satellite sends us gives an idea of environmental behavior patterns and can help make decision-making more effective”.