Brussels – Today the European Commission will publish a plan to reduce the EU’s dependence on fossil gas imports from a single supplier in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the ongoing energy crisis. Seeking new sources of fossil gas imports or alternative combustible fuels would still leave Europe vulnerable to energy shocks and accelerate climate breakdown, said Greenpeace.
Leaked versions of the Commission’s plan prioritise the diversification of the EU’s fossil gas imports, as well as developing imports of hydrogen and biogas. The plan falls short of proposing a phase-out of fossil gas as a whole, but does propose speeding up the deployment of renewable energy and measures to improve energy efficiency.
Greenpeace EU climate and energy campaigner Silvia Pastorelli said: “Europe must stop funding Putin’s war machine, but the problem is deeper than just where the fossil gas comes from – it’s that we burn so much of it. Other sources of fossil gas, hydrogen or biogas would keep the EU hooked on burning fuel and vulnerable to future shocks, as well as worsening the climate crisis. EU efforts must focus on reducing energy demand, and accelerating renewables as quickly as possible – this will help us cut imports of not only Russian gas, but oil and coal too, and avoid pushing millions into energy poverty.”
Most of the fossil fuels the European Union imports come from Russia. In 2019, two-fifths of the EU’s fossil gas imports came from Russia, as did over a quarter of crude oil imports and almost half of the coal imported. EU imports of energy from Russia were worth €60.1 billion in 2020.
Greenpeace and six other civil society organisations produced a manifesto on renewable heating in Europe, laying out how to reduce Europe’s dependence on fossil fuels and protect vulnerable people from energy poverty. The main use of fossil gas in the EU is heating of buildings and water, accounting for around 40% of gas used.
On Thursday and Friday, EU heads of government will meet in Versailles to further discuss energy measures to cut the imports of fossil fuels from Russia.
Silvia Pastorelli, Greenpeace EU climate and energy campaigner: +32 478 523 383, firstname.lastname@example.org
Greenpeace EU press desk: +32 (0)2 274 1911, email@example.com
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