EU tables €300bn plan to ditch Russian fossil fuels, speed up green transition

(EurActiv, 18 May 2022) The European Commission submitted on Wednesday (18 May) a €300 billion plan to eliminate Russian energy imports by 2027, although it admitted this would require short-term investments in new fossil fuel infrastructure to replace imports of Russian oil and gas.

Combined with green legislation already on the table, the new plan, dubbed REPowerEU, will help Europe save €100 billion each year on gas, oil and coal imports, the EU executive said.

“Putin’s war is, as we all see, heavily disrupting the global energy market,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, adding that it has shown Europe’s dependence on imported fossil fuels and the vulnerability that comes with it.

“We must now reduce as soon as possible our dependency on Russian fossil fuels. I’m deeply convinced we can,” she continued.

The plan has three major elements: energy savings, boosting renewables, and diversifying European supplies of oil and gas.

It includes new proposals to raise the EU’s renewable energy target to 45% by 2030, up from the 40% target tabled last year, and increase the energy efficiency target from the 9% goal put forward in July 2021 to 13%.

It also proposes making solar panels mandatory for public and new residential buildings by 2025 and 2029, respectively.

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EurActiv, 18 May 2022: EU tables €300bn plan to ditch Russian fossil fuels, speed up green transition