EU announces plans to cut reliance on Russian gas by two-thirds
The European Union announced a plan Tuesday to cut its reliance on Russian natural gas by two-thirds this year, and get off Russian fossil fuels entirely by the end of the decade.
The European bloc said in a statement the effort to move away from Russian natural gas was in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
The plan laid out several steps that it said would cut its dependence on Russia’s natural gas, including working with international partners to diversify its natural gas supply, speeding up permitting for renewable energy projects and adding solar panels and energy-efficient improvements to homes and buildings.
It will also double its 2030 goal of producing gas through agricultural waste and create an accelerator for hydrogen energy.
“We must become independent from Russian oil, coal and gas. We simply cannot rely on a supplier who explicitly threatens us,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement.
Von der Leyen added that she will discuss the ideas with European leaders this week and then work to “swiftly implement them.”
According to the commission, the EU imports about 90 percent of its natural gas, and 45 percent of these imports come from Russia. Russia is also responsible for about 45 percent of Europe’s oil imports and 45 percent of its coal imports.
Russia had previously threatened to cut off its Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which sends natural gas to Europe.
President Biden is expected to announce a U.S. ban on Russian oil imports later Tuesday.