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'Scapegoating' oil and gas on emissions hurts energy investment, Repsol boss says

Repsol’s chairman has hit out at governments across the European Union (EU), accusing them of “placating” citizens by “demonosing” the oil and gas sector.

Antonio Brufau told the Financial Times in an opinion piece yesterday that European governments had “resorted to eye-catching” announcements on emissions that give the illusion of a simple solution, but which hurt the “competitiveness” of the oil and gas sector.

He claimed the rhetoric by authorities has led European manufacturing firms to outsource work to where emissions legislation is “more lax”.

Mr Brufau said: “Brussels is seeking to derive 20% of gross domestic product from industry, yet has remained stuck at 17% for almost a decade.

“Meanwhile China, representing 28% of global emissions, appears able to lead technological progress and attract investment from industries such as carmaking, whose companies are being ejected from their own markets by the greener-than-thou narrative.

“What is the European vision for wealth creation? We cannot seem to see beyond simplistic emissions fixes.”

Mr Brufau also claimed that governments were not doing enough to support carbon capture and storage (CCS).

He said that “the sooner public policy supports what the industry is already doing that better”, given that developing countries will continue to burn coal “for years to come”.

He added that Madrid-headquartered Repsol’s commitment to lowering carbon emissions is “backed by two decades of effort”.

Mr Brufau said: “We spend our own money, not taxpayer funds, on renewable power, batteries, energy management, efficiency, charging networks, carbon capture and use, biofuels, gas for heavy duty vehicles, and much more.

“We have a clear plan to reduce carbon intensity per unit of energy generated by 40% in 2040, in line with the Paris Agreement, something politics is yet to provide for countries.

“We need less rhetoric and more productive action.

“We would rather drive progress in partnership with politics than be used as a convenient scapegoat.”

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