EU REPowerEU Plan Maps Path Away from Russian Gas

The European Commission has published its REPowerEU plan, which outlines how member states will reduce their dependence on Russian gas by upscaling and transitioning to localised, renewable energy. “The main strands of action under the plan are saving energy by promoting energy efficiency and enhancing preparedness; diversifying energy supplies; quickly substituting fossil fuels by accelerating Europe’s clean energy transition and smartly combining investments and reforms,” the Commission noted in the accompanying Q&A document. Building on the Commission’s existing ‘Fit for 55‘ regulations, REPowerEU hasn’t changed the headline ambition of achieving at least a 55% reduction in emissions by 2030 and climate neutrality by 2050, but it does propose increasing the percentage target of renewables in the EU’s energy mix from 40% to 45% by the end of the decade. To finance these changes, the Commission would mobilise €300 billion, largely from the existing EU Recovery Fund. €20 billion of this would be generated by selling new permits to pollute for industry, the equivalent of 250 million tonnes of CO2. The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) noted that the REPowerEU plan includes a proposal to replace Russian oil and gas by investing in additional gas infrastructure and relying on the future development of hydrogen and bioenergy. This risks “prolonging the EU’s dependence on fossil fuels”, WWF said.  

 

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