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Energy security

European Commission rolls out the red carpet for Gazprom

The European Commission today presented a package of proposals on energy security. However, in spite of the agreement reached last December at the Paris climate negotiations, the proposals’ main focus for the supply of energy is on fossil fuels. Commenting on these proposals, MEP Claude Turmes, energy policy spokesperson of the Greens/EFA Group, said:

“The Commission is basing its strategy on a huge over-estimation of demand for gas, as the European Court of Auditors also recently concluded. In doing so, the Commission is able to quietly push through projects that, officially, it takes a critical line on, such as the Nordstream Pipeline. These proposals effectively mean Commission vice president Maroš Šefčovič is rolling out the red carpet for Gazprom. Instead of pumping millions into projects that are doomed to fail, the Commission should wait until new, more credible estimates for gas demand can be formulated.

The Commission has here completely ignored the Paris Agreement. Commissioner Cañete had announced that the EU’s climate and energy policy would be modified to fit the ambitious goals agreed at the climate negotiations, but there’s no trace of that in today’s proposals. Instead the Commission continues to cling to the outdated fossil fuel model of energy supply rather than adopting a forward-looking energy policy that would ensure both energy security and climate protection. Likewise, there’s nothing in the proposals on improving energy efficiency and promoting renewables in the transport sector or in heating and cooling systems. Yet EU demand for heating could be reduced by 30%-50%. This would require binding standards for heating and air-conditioning systems, and extending existing initiatives for energy efficiency in buildings.”

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