Europe must come together to solve the energy crisis and secure independence from Russian fossil fuel

Author: Alberto Cuena Vilches

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Energy independence from Russia

Global and European energy markets are going through turbulent times, particularly since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In this context, the Renew Europe Group in the European Parliament welcomes the energy package announced today by the European Commission intended to tackle high energy prices and ensure secure gas supplies in Europe in the upcoming months.

Our political group embraces the attempt to mitigate the impact of energy price rises on European households and companies, boosting the market’s efficiency and competitiveness, while ensuring that European consumers can make affordable and more sustainable choices. At the same time, it is essential that Member States coordinate their actions in order to ensure that the integrity of the Single Market is not jeopardised.

The strategy to achieve these urgent goals should be accompanied by an acceleration of the green transition, as well as enhanced efforts to achieve high-energy efficiency targets, the massive deployment of European renewable energy sources and the completion of a truly interconnected smart grid.

Furthermore, in the unfolding context in Ukraine, Renew Europe stands for an Energy Union that is independent from Russian gas, oil and coal, as soon as possible, avoiding an indirect financing of the war. To this purpose, our political group calls for a concrete 10-year plan for Europe to achieve full security of energy supply, its diversification and independence, by working on both demand and supply. This plan should include clear short and medium term milestones, aiming at full independency from Russian fossil fuels no later than 2027.

Morten Petersen (Det Radikale Venstre, DENMARK), vice-chiar of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE), said:

“The Commission's proposals reflect very well the togetherness Europe must demonstrate in order to deal with the current energy crisis, and ultimately put an end to Europe sponsoring Putin's war machine. All Europe should support today's proposals from the Commission designed to address the energy crisis short-term. Structurally, we also need things like faster permits for renewable energy and improved energy efficiency in our houses. Let's work together to secure an end-date for European import of Russian fossil fuels by 2027 latest, as well as full energy security for the EU within the next decade”.

Claudia Gamon (NEOS, AUSTRIA), member in the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE), added:

"We welcome the Commission's proposals to tackle energy supply shortages together. We need to do everything to be ready for the next winter. But we also need to help citizens now. Member States have all the tools they need ready. I call for tax reliefs across the European Union so citizens can more easily meet their needs. In the longer term, the answer can only be to invest more in renewable energy. A faster energy transition not only saves the climate but also makes us independent from autocrats. Every euro that we don't spend on Russian gas, is a euro that does not finance Vladimir Putin's war in Ukraine."