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Green

Academic Washing? How Spain's Energy Sector Cleans Its Image At Universities

The big Spanish electricity and oil companies sponsor numerous research chairs at top universities: Is this cynical 'greenwashing' or innovative collaboration for the energy transition?

Academic Washing? How Spain's Energy Sector Cleans Its Image At Universities

In the corridors at Universidad Pontificia Comillas ICAI-ICADE

Universidad Facebook page
Dani Dominguez

MADRID — Spain's major energy companies have found a first-rate partner in universities.

At Comillas University, for example, the companies sponsor the Module of Energy and Innovation, financed by Iberdrola; the Module of Family and Disability and the Module of Social Impact, in which the Repsol Foundation participates, as well as the Module of Energy and Poverty, run by Naturgy and Endesa.

In other words, the four big electricity companies on Spain's IBEX 35 leading stock index pay for some type of studies at this private university, which also hosts the Chair of Connected Industry; whose board of trustees includes Repsol, Endesa and Enagás, among others; and the Chair of Energy and Sustainability, which is paid for by British Petroleum (BP).

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Economy

How Much Longer Can The Russian Economy Survive Sanctions?

The head of the Kremlin boasted at the recent forum in St. Petersburg International Economic Forum about Russia’s economic resilience against Western sanctions. But behind the scenes, Russian business leaders tell a different story.

At a Veshki distribution center for the food retailer VkusVill, a chain of online Russian grocery stores.

Benjamin Quénelle

-Analysis-

MOSCOW — "The most effective sanction to weaken the Kremlin? Not to target us and punish us, but to give us visas instead ... to abandon the sinking the ship!" This businessman's iconoclastic perspective embodies the anxiety one could detect percolating just below the surface at the "Russian Davos" Forum in St. Petersburg last week.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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Officially called the "International" Economic Forum, the annual event organized by Vladimir Putin is meant to attract foreign investors — but this year, the elite of the national business community were cut off from the rest of the world. "Just among Russians... And forced to line up behind the regime and its economic strategies that lead us to a dead end," says the same source, a Russian manager in one of the main state-owned companies.

Like so many others, this man in his 40s, a typical representative of the new upper middle class, with a foreign passport in hand, educated in the West, liberal and multilingual, discovered his name on the lists of Western sanctions. Directly or indirectly, a large part of the Russian business world has been caught up in the European and U.S. sanctions against Moscow.

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