In remarks made at the World Economic Forum in Davos, BBVA Chair Carlos Torres Vila referred to the consequences of the war in Ukraine, not only on a humanitarian level, but also from an economic and energy standpoint. Regarding the need to reduce Europe's energy dependence, he believes that “in Spain, we have a great advantage; we have the energy resources of the future: The sun and the wind are the new oil, and we could be energy exporters to Europe.” In his opinion, “Spain has made many decisions in the right direction, we have to follow this path and make sure they work.”
Press kit - Davos 2022
The BBVA Chair pointed out that this summit comes "at one of the most challenging times in recent decades." “When we had not yet recovered from the COVID crisis and its impact, we were hit by the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” he said.
Governments and businesses are debating in Davos how to address the challenges produced by the war. Carlos Torres Vila emphasized that the most important challenge “we are witnessing is the terrible human tragedy,” but we cannot forget that the fight against climate change, the decarbonization of the economy, which was already a priority before the Russian invasion, is now essential.”
In this sense, he believes that “Europe’s ability to respond to aggression would have been much greater if our economy had already been more decarbonized. And maybe Russia’s actions would have been very different as well.”
Regarding the European response to this challenge, Carlos Torres Vila noted that “Europe has set very ambitious objectives. We have to ensure that they become a reality, adopting measures that facilitate their roll-out, especially for proven technologies that are already very profitable.”
The BBVA Chair recalled that “electrification of the economy, renewable energies, and energy efficiency are areas where we are already seeing this.” “Banks are often witnesses of how interesting projects can be delayed for years,” he added. For that reason, he said that “in the search for energy autonomy, while moving forward with decarbonization, these have to be the levers of development in Europe. And Spain can play a very important role, we must put the focus on eliminating all the barriers to their implementation.”
Referring to the role of banks in this decarbonization process, he underlined “BBVA's commitment to financing the transition to a sustainable future.” In the words of Carlos Torres Vila, “there is not a minute to lose.”