Despite EU’s short-term needs for fossil fuels to partially replace supplies from Russia, it is not in any way promoting a global renaissance of fossil fuels, said Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice-President of the European Commission, Trend reports with reference to the European External Action Service.
“We need in particular to avoid aggravating the problem of so-called “stranded assets” for fossil fuel producers. That is why we also work with our partners on the production and trade of clean hydrogen. It has great potential to become a major new source of energy and some of the existing infrastructure including pipelines could be re-purposed. This is one of the priorities under the EU strategy with the Gulf that we adopted last May. A large part of the EU’s alternative gas needs could also be ensured simply with a better management of oil and gas production and transit facilities, where the IEA estimates that over 50 bcm of gas is wasted to through leaks, flaring or venting. This is roughly the volume we need to cover a possible Russian gas cut off. It would also generate significant climate benefits,” he said.
He pointed out that saving energy and improving energy efficiency has to get the priority it has long deserved.
“In the EU, we are now embarking on a serious effort at demand reduction. The Commission has proposed to raise the binding Energy Efficiency target to 13 percent by 2030, along with additional savings measures in industry, buildings and elsewhere. Doing so is necessary to get through the next winter, but this will also give us the necessary credentials to put the international focus and launch a global movement on energy savings and efficiency in the run up to the UNGA and COP27 in Cairo. We can draw inspiration from the Methane Pledge, a real success of EU climate diplomacy: the EU proposed it, the US partnered with us and in the end 110 countries signed, representing 70 percent of the global economy. We need a similar global campaign around energy efficiency and savings, and in the coming months I will invest in helping building the necessary coalition.”