Better late than never? Commission runs now to fight energy dependency on Russia with the sustainable energy security package

Maros Sefcovic Canete European Commission Energy

Press conference by Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of the Energy Union, and Miguel Arias Cañete, Commissioner in charge of Climate Action and Energy, on the EC sustainable energy security package. Date: 16/02/2016 Reference: P-030937/00-02 Location: Brussels – EC/Berlaymont.

It was last Tuesday when the Commission launched a set of measures to increase energy security in the European Union. The executive arm of the EU now aims mainly at reducing dependency from countries outside the bloc (i.e. Russia), endorsing the energy union and decreasing the use of fossil fuels by replacing them with renewables.

Being one of Junker’s Commission priorities, the Energy Union is meant to finally provide to EU households and businesses with secure, sustainable, competitive and affordable energy. But the “sustainable energy security package” that the EC presented yesterday must first be approved by the European Parliament and the European Council, in order to come into force.

EU’s horrible gas dependency

The EU depends on Russia for gas supply for about one third of its total imports. The latter shows that the Old Continent will be influenced to a great extent if Russia decides to shut down the pipes and stop supplying with gas the Old Continent. Furthermore, half of the gas delivered to the EU comes through Ukraine which makes things even more complicated due to the long political unrest in the country.

The past has shown that such dependencies are leading to gas crises with severe impact on the European citizens and businesses. As Miguel Arias Cañete, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, said yesterday: After the gas crises of 2006 and 2009 that left many millions out in the cold, we said: ‘Never again’. But the stress tests of 2014 showed we are still far too vulnerable to major disruption of gas supplies. And the political tensions on our borders are a sharp reminder that this problem will not just go away. Today’s proposals are about a reliable, competitive and flexible system in which energy flows across borders and consumers reap the benefits. They are about standing together to protect the most vulnerable. And they are about securing our clean energy future: I can assure that our commitment to a clean energy transition is irreversible and non-negotiable.”

That is why the EC, through this new security package, proposes to check thoroughly the gas-supply contracts before signed between an EU member state and a non-EU country and evaluate them as acceptable or not. The member states will thus have to prepare assessments on the risks that will be taken under such deal. In the case that these deals are not in line with the EU competition laws though, then according to the EC the case would need to be taken into court.

Greenpeace reacts

The non-governmental environmental organization Greenpeace claims that the package that was presented by the EC is promoting gas instead of renewables as the source of securing Europe’s energy supply. More specifically, Jiri Jerabek, energy policy adviser at Greenpeace EU, said: “it’s like the Paris agreement never happened and the Commission is stuck on gas, dishing out a costly proposal that will keep Europe hooked on energy imports. It is high time Europe embraces the renewable energy transition. Only if it focuses on renewables and energy efficiency will Europe meet its climate targets and reduce its dependence on foreign energy supplies”.

On the one hand, it seems that the Commission is indeed spending more funds in order to build infrastructure for its Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and gas storage strategy. Through this strategy, the EC is aiming at improving access for each and every country to LNG as an alternative gas source. Hence, even if a completion of the internal energy market is succeeded in such a way, the main climate goal of reducing CO2 gas emissions and fossil fuels is not addressed.

On the other hand though, the Commission’s Heating and Cooling Strategy is meant to focus on decarbonising buildings and industry through the use of renewable sources and energy efficiency.  What is more, this particular strategy will inform and create awareness to consumers regarding their energy use and how they can make energy efficient renovations and generate their own energy with renewables.

Europe’s benefits

EC’s sustainable energy security package will create more jobs by targeting at the renewable energy sector. The anticipated reduction of unemployment that would come from that would certainly boost the European economy. Moreover, the EU citizens will reduce their household energy expenses and contribute to a greener environment following EC’s proposals on using efficient heating appliances based on renewable energy.

All in all, it seems that this proposed energy package will be beneficial for Europe. Not only will it increase security against possible energy disruptions but also will create a sustainable EU energy market, even in the long run.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Gender equality: an issue much talked about but less acted upon

Vaccinations and the movement of anti-vaccers

How India’s new consumers can contribute to a $6 trillion opportunity

Draghi reveals how failing banks will be dealt, may cut interest rates soon

Banks worth $47 trillion adopt new UN-backed climate, sustainability principles

‘No justification’ for attacks against civilians, UN envoy says on mounting cross-border violence in Gaza

The experience economy is booming, but it must benefit everyone

The smartest cyber investment is collective action. Here’s why

A Sting Exclusive: Disaster risk resilience, key to protecting vulnerable communities

UN experts urge India to align new anti-trafficking bill with human rights law

German opposition win in Lower Saxony felt all over Europe

‘Young people care about peace’: UN Youth Envoy delivers key message to Security Council

Eurozone set to abandon monetary and incomes austerity and adopt growth friendly policies

Rich economies not a promise of education equality, new report finds

Saving the whales is more important than planting trees to stop climate change. This is why

European research priorities for 2021-2027 agreed with member states

Brexit casts a shadow over the LSE – Deutsche Börse merger: a tracer of how or if brexit is to be implemented

Mediterranean migrant drownings should spur greater action by European countries, urge UN agencies

The new EU “fiscal compact” an intimidation for all people

‘Democratic aspirations of the Sudanese people’ must be met urges Guterres, following military removal of al-Bashir from power

Future of our planet hinges on action by today’s youth – UN deputy chief

Most fish consumers support a ban on fishing endangered species, poll finds

Rural Bangladesh has already embraced renewable energy. Here’s what the rest of the world can learn

Iran-US attack in Iraq: Guterres pledges ‘active engagement’ in further de-escalation efforts

Back to the Basics: Primary Healthcare

D-Day for Grexit is today and not Friday; Super Mario is likely to kill the Greek banks still today

All States have ‘primary responsibility’ to protect against hate attacks

How to rebuild trust and integrity in South Africa

Nearly two-thirds of children lack access to welfare safety net, risking ‘vicious cycle of poverty’

Questions and Answers on issues about the digital copyright directive

Central Asia: the European Union matches political commitment with further concrete support

The refugee crisis brings to light EU’s most horrible flaws and nightmares

The European Green Deal sets out how to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050, boosting the economy, improving people’s health and quality of life, caring for nature, and leaving no one behind

Why financial services can kickstart Africa’s digital economy

Global ageing is a challenge – and an opportunity

European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, who gets it and who pays the bill?

Progress in medical research: leading or lagging behind?

Consumer product quality: MEPs take aim at dual standards

Parallel downfalls of Merkel and Deutsche Bank threaten Germany and Europe

The cost of healthcare is rising in ASEAN. How can nations get the most for their money?

Cash-strapped cities must look to private partners

Will Turkey abandon the refugee deal and risk losing a bonanza of money?

Why business can no longer turn a blind eye to poor vision

First do no harm. Why healthcare needs to change

Global climate change: consequences for human health in Brazilian cities

Poor Greeks, Irish and Spaniards still pay for the faults of German and French banks

This tech company is aiming to plant 500 billion trees by 2060 – using drones

European Employment Forum 2013 and not European Unemployment Forum 2014

‘We need to stand up now’ for the elderly: urges UN rights expert on World Day

A small group of world leaders are standing together against inequality

How privacy tech is redefining the data economy

Brexit preparedness: EU completes preparations for possible “no-deal” scenario on 12 April

Beyond self-regulation: dealing with Europe’s consumption problem

You can make a difference in North Korea. Here’s how

Climate emergency: City mayors are ‘world’s first responders’, says UN chief

UN chief condemns student abductions in north-west Cameroon

How and why Mercedes fakes the EU fuel consumption tests

‘The green economy is the future,’ UN chief says in Beijing, urging climate solutions that strengthen economies, protect the environment

UK: Customs Union with EU or a longer delay of Brexit

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s