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Iberdrola takes Repsol to court for unfair competition and accuses it of 'greenwashing'

Repsol believes that "it has generated nervousness in Iberdrola, a company that is not used to operating in a competitive framework".

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Iberdrola takes Repsol to court for unfair competition and accuses it of 'greenwashing'

Repsol believes that "it has generated nervousness in Iberdrola, a company that is not used to operating in a competitive framework"

MADRID, 18 Mar. (EUROPA PRESS) -

Iberdrola has filed a lawsuit against Repsol in the Commercial Court number 2 of Santander for "unfair competition and misleading advertising", considering that it has engaged in 'greenwashing', as informed to Europa Press by sources from the electricity company.

This lawsuit, filed last February, has been admitted for processing by the court. However, Repsol sources told Europa Press that they had not yet been notified.

Specifically, Iberdrola has gone to a court in Cantabria since, in accordance with procedural regulations, when companies with different registered offices are sued, the plaintiff can choose the location of any of those addresses. In this case, the company that competes with Iberdrola in the sale of electricity and gas, Repsol Distribuidora de Electricidad y Gas, has its registered office in Santander.

The document is filed under the Unfair Competition Law, based on the articles of acts of deception (art. 5), misleading omissions (art. 7) and illegal advertising (art. 18) within the framework of its advertising campaigns. and corporate communications.

In the lawsuit, reported by 'El Confidencial' this Monday, Iberdrola accuses Repsol of promoting sustainable initiatives, "when its multi-product offer seeks to promote the use of fuel", as well as of "focusing on sustainability, when it constitutes a minor element of their current activities".

Furthermore, the group chaired by Ignacio Sánchez Galán considers that Repsol's campaigns "constitute a violation of the Unfair Competition Law, by including acts of deception and misleading omissions regarding the company's environmental commitment."

For Iberdrola, "the generalization of these 'eco posturing' practices has consequences in the markets, since it ends up eroding consumer confidence in sustainability initiatives and undermines the efforts of companies that are really working to build a more sustainable world." sustainable".

For their part, Repsol sources consulted by Europa Press defend that its strategy and its value proposition to customers "are unique in the Iberian Peninsula and have generated nervousness in Iberdrola, a company that is not used to operating in a competitive framework. but rather to depend on the rules of an eminently regulated market.

"Proof of this nervousness is the presentation of this alleged lawsuit, which lacks foundation and of which Repsol has not been notified. Repsol will continue to grow in electricity customers and will continue to offer society present and future energy solutions, such as fuels. renewables, which are seen by some, including Iberdrola, as a threat to the false discourse that electrification is the only solution to reduce CO2 emissions in transportation," the same sources added.

In its letter, Iberdrola thus requests that it be declared that Repsol is carrying out acts of unfair competition, "condemning said company to cease carrying them out, prohibit their future repetition and remove their effects."

Likewise, it requests that the company be forced to cease such conduct and not to repeat it in the future, in addition to the removal of the effects produced and the destruction of merchandise, product packaging, posters, deliverables and advertising brochures, commercial correspondence, videos. or acoustic recordings, or any other materials intended to deliver the advertised content to consumers.

Also, in the event of a ruling in your favor, you must publish the ruling on your corporate website, and on radio and television, at least once a day for a week, on the same channels and in the same time slot and duration that the trials had. content declared illicit, as well as in two newspapers with the largest circulation at the national level, and on social networks (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Flickr and TikTok).

According to Iberdrola, Repsol is a company dedicated "mainly to the exploration, exploitation and marketing of highly polluting fossil fuels, taking into account their economic magnitudes."

In this sense, the electricity company states that in 2022 Repsol has increased its CO2 emissions by 16%, "being the largest CO2 emitter in Spain, which has allocated 82% of its investments to fossil fuels and only 0 .82% to the production of renewable energy in 2022 and that "only 0.4% of its income comes from renewable generation activities in 2022." In addition, remember that Repsol has already been sanctioned twice for 'greenwashing' by the UK authorities.

For their part, Repsol sources highlighted that the group "has become a multi-energy company in just five years, with a unique commercial offer in Spain that includes savings for its clients and the ability to satisfy the energy and mobility needs of any person".

In this regard, they remember that last year they added 246,000 new electricity customers in Spain - the operator with the most new additions in 2023 - and exceeded 2.1 million customers, positioning itself as the fourth marketer in the country.

In addition, they point out that in renewable generation the company - which in 2019 was the first company in the sector to assume the commitment to be net zero emissions by 2050 - has 2,800 megawatts (MW) of installed capacity in Spain and, in the electric recharging, has signed important contracts with relevant companies and has more than 1,700 operating points.

"Added to this is its network of service stations, with more than 3,300 points spread throughout the country, where it has begun the deployment of 100% renewable fuels; the Waylet application, which reaches almost 8 million users and offers all types of offers, goods and services; and the start, in October 2023, of the production of renewable hydrogen, one of the ways to decarbonize large industrial centers," they added.

The Directive on consumer empowerment for the green transition introduces specific rules to tackle misleading and unfair commercial practices, such as 'greenwashing'.

Likewise, the European Taxonomy Regulation points out the requirement to channel capital flows towards sustainable investments, which is why the obstacles to the circulation of capital towards sustainable investments, such as 'greenwashing', are due.