REPowerEU: Commission takes step towards ending dependence on Russian oil and gas
Today, the European Commission presented the REPowerEU package of proposals on how to make the EU independent of fossil fuels, in particular from Russia. The package includes legislative proposals to increase energy efficiency, expand renewable energies, a solar strategy and proposals for financing the energy transition. The Greens/EFA Group welcome legal and binding measures for more renewable energy and energy efficiency, as well as the proposed legal obligation to install solar energy on all new public and commercial buildings bigger than 250sqm by 2026, and on all new residential buildings by 2029. We welcome that there will be dedicated funding for this package, however, none of this funding should be invested in fossil fuels.
Bas Eickhout MEP, Greens/EFA Vice-Chair of the Environment Committee, comments:
"We welcome that the Commission is coming out with legal measures and binding targets for renewables and energy efficiency. This is essential to end our dependence on Russia and fight the climate crisis.
“The Commission is leaving the door open for Member States to continue funding fossil fuel infrastructure. Investments that are urgently needed for energy efficiency and renewables can still flow into new pipelines and terminals, this might continue our fossil energy dependency.
“The Commission needs to take initiative to ensure that the low income households are spared from rising energy prices through measures such as taxing windfall profits on energy companies that are profiting from high energy prices and through assistance funding programmes. The Commission also needs to seek out new funds to finance these plans, instead of relying on the additional sale of ETS certificates, which will only increase emissions from industry and will delay the necessary climate action.”
Ville Niinistö MEP, Greens/EFA Coordinator in the Industry, Research and Energy Committee and member of the Environment Committee, comments:
"New EU programmes to jump start the installation of solar panels across European rooftops are welcome and will speed up the energy transition. With the solar strategy we should also aim to bring back PV manufacturing to Europe generating additional local jobs.
“We welcome the Commission increasing the renewables target. Efforts to speed up approval procedures for renewables will be vital to securing our renewable energy future. However, we cannot disregard the environmental impact of new infrastructure.
“We have the ability to quickly save substantial amounts of energy with programmes for better building insulation and the improvement of hydraulic balancing of heating systems. Investments in renewable energies and energy efficiency are investments in energy sovereignty and in an independent energy supply.
“Funnelling money from the European Emissions Trading Scheme into the further expansion of fossil infrastructure would move us in the wrong direction and leave the EU hooked on polluting gas."
Isolate Putin. Insulate homes, op-ed’ from Ciarán Cuffe, Greens/EFA MEP
MEPs will debate the REPowerEU package tomorrow morning during tomorrow’s plenary session.
The Commission is increasing the expansion target for renewable energies from 40% to 45% by 2030, and that for energy efficiency from nine to 13%. The Greens/EFA Group are calling for a reduction target of at least 56% renewable energies and at least 20% energy savings.
Press statement by UVDL