EU must not ‘backslide’ to coal-burning – EU Commission — Analysis

Ursula von der Leyen advised against using dirty fossil fuels again amid Russia’s tensions

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, stated that it is not acceptable for EU to use coal again and ignore its climate goals to replace Russian natural gas.

“We have to make sure that we use this crisis to move forward and not to have a backsliding on the dirty fossil fuels,”On Monday, von der Leyen spoke to the Financial Times.

“It’s a fine line and it’s not determined whether we are going to take the right turn.”

Von der Leyen believes that EU nations must continue to be involved in the economy. “massive investment in renewables.”

She added that Brussels has “emergency steps in place” to respond to the threat of decreasing supplies from Russia, such as energy conservation and prioritizing which industries receive gas.

March saw the announcement by the commission that it would aim to phase out Russian gas production by 2030. The decision was made as part of sanctions over Moscow’s military campaign in Ukraine, which was launched in late February.

Another EU state returns to coal 

Germany, an EU member, has warned numerous times that the immediate ban on Russian oil will severely damage their economy.

Robert Habeck, German Economy Minister, stated that coal-fired power stations must replace gas for electricity generation and that more gas should be stored. “Otherwise, it will be really tight in winter,”He said. “That’s bitter, but it’s simply necessary in this situation to lower gas usage.”

Habeck’s comments appear to be a stark departure from the climate change plan unveiled by the government in January, in which Germany’s share of renewable energy is to increase to 80% by 2030.

After Gazprom, a Russian gas company, announced last week that it would reduce the Nord Stream 1 pipeline’s flow for technical reasons.
The Netherlands stated Monday that it will also remove restrictions on coal burning. Austria also came up with a similar plan.

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