Automotive regions team up for a just and sustainable transition
— The director general of IGAPE highlighted how the Galician government seeks to strengthen the competitiveness of the automotive industry, always taking into account the transition that the sector has to face.— At the same time, the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) has launched the Automotive Regions Alliance, a political network of which Galicia is one of the founding regions.
Brussels, 24th June 2022. – The EU’s main automotive regions have come together at an event organized by The CoR’s Interregional group for the Future of the Automotive Industry (CoRAI), with the support of the Fundación Galicia Europa. Representatives of local and regional authorities, industry and other stakeholders met to share strategies, recommendations and perspectives on the need to achieve a just transition in the automotive sector.
Galicia was represented by Fernando Guldrís, Director General of the Galician Institute for Economic Promotion (IGAPE), who highlighted the importance of this industry for our region, as well as the Galician Government’s commitment to promoting sustainable mobility, while respecting the transition that the sector has to face.
The European perspective
In July 2021, the European Commission published the “Objective 55” legislative package, which aims to promote a reduction of at least 55% in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. This is a preliminary step towards achieving climate neutrality by 2050.
Among the package of proposals was the revision of the Regulation setting CO2 emission performance standards, which looks for a 55% reduction in emission for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles from 2030 and a 100% reduction from 2035 compared to 2021 levels. This implies a phase-out of internal combustion engines, so that all newly manufactured passenger cars and vans registered from 2035 onwards will be zero-emission.
The regional response to this proposal can be found in the opinion “Towards zero emission road transport: Deploying alternative fuels infrastructure and strengthening CO2 emission performance standards”, adopted at the plenary session of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) in January 2022, which urges the European Commission to create “a European mechanism for a just transition of the automotive sector and regions, which should not to happen without budgetary and political support measures at the European level that involves all actors in the automotive ecosystem (…)”. The employment and social consequences of this transition must also be taken into account. For all these reasons, a territorial impact assessment and the promotion of social and multilevel dialogue are considered necessary, given that the challenges will not be the same in all automotive regions.has not questioned the need to decarbonize road transport, but has called for this change not to happen without budgetary and political support measures at the European level that involves all actors in the automotive ecosystem.
In this context of transformation, the CoR has just launched the Automotive Regions Alliance, of which Galicia is one of the founding regions. In this political network of regions, Galicia will play an important role in achieving a just transition for automotive regions.
The Galician perspective
25% of the cars manufactured in Spain are supplied by Galicia, mostly from the Stellantis automotive group’s in Vigo. In 2021, despite the health and supply crisis, the sector had a turnover of more than 11 billion euros in Spain and nearly 8 billion euros abroad, thus recording a historical figure in relation to exports.
Given the importance of this industry, both for our region and for the country as a whole, the Galician Government seeks to strengthen its competitiveness, taking into account the transition that the automotive sector has to face. It is essential to promote sustainable mobility, one of the main axes, for example, of the Galician Energy Agenda 2030. This strategic document foresees, between 2022 and 2024, an investment of 145 million euros to promote electric vehicles, the green corridor in the north of the peninsula and the transformation of transport fleets. There is also support for strategic projects of Stellantis, the Galician Automotive Technology Center (CTAG) and, in general, of all the industry involved in the sector, directly or indirectly, to help them attract European funds aligned with their objectives.
In addition, it is considered that access to European funds is a guarantee for the future of the industry in the automotive regions, especially in a transition period such as the current one. Because of this, a decentralized, transparent and agile distribution of the funds framed in the National Recovery and Resilience Plans is advocated.
In Galicia, the automotive sector represents more than 13% of its GDP and employs more than 40,000 people. Due to its importance in our Community, Galicia is part, since its creation in 2009, of the Committee of the Regions’ Future of the Automotive Industry interregional group (CoRAI). This is an informal network formed by regions with specific interests in the automotive sector that promotes cooperation with industry and other stakeholders and liaises with the European institutions.
In October 2019, the FGE was part of the organization of the Automotive Mobility Summit, counting on the intervention of the first vice president, who remarked the advantageous position of Galicia in the face of the new challenges arising from autonomous driving. The Galician Automotive Technology Center (CTAG) also participated, presenting a specific project on autonomous mobility. Since then, several events have been held, highlighting the need for skilled workers in the sector, the role of automotive regions in achieving the green transition and the future of alternative fuels.
In October 2019, the FGE was part of the organization of the Autonomous Mobility Summit, counting on the intervention of the first vice president, who remarked the advantageous position of Galicia in the face of the new challenges arising from autonomous driving. The Galician Automotive Technology Center (CTAG) also participated, presenting a specific project on autonomous mobility. Since then, several events have been held, highlighting the need for skilled workers in the sector, the role of automotive regions in achieving the green transition and the future of alternative fuels.
More information: CoRAI website