EU Will Increase Renewables Target: Timmermans, EU Climate Policy Chief

Highlights :

  • The Commission is about to propose a novel ‘Repower EU’ plan in May.
  • Timmermans also looks for Israeli LNG through Egyptian terminals for the EU in the meanwhile.

Eliminating its dependence on Russian oil and gas seems to have a guaranteed a strong runway for renewables growth in the European Union. EU climate policy head Frans Timmermans has said that more ambitious targets are being developed for the EU for faster transition to renewable sources of energy.

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The announcement by Timmermans comes even as many people have feared the damage the war has done to progress on climate targets, with the urgency of the climate issue relegated to the background even as the war carries on.

The European Commission had recently proposed to cut European imports of gas from Russia by over two thirds in 2022 and completely phase out by 2027. The Commission is about to propose a novel ‘Repower EU’ plan in May. Under the existing EU plan, the member countries ought to increase their share of renewables to 40 per cent by 2030. Key European consumers like Germany hope to completely stop imports of Russian oil by the end of 2022.

Timmermans added that such a revision would mean a higher percentage of renewable energy for 2030. He refrained from giving exact numbers for the new targets.

Under the present targets, the European Union member states will collectively reduce their net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 55% from 1990 levels by 2030. The group will eventually achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

Timmermans looks for the Israeli gas from the Egyptian coasts for the EU. He says that Egypt exports Israeli gas from LNG terminals based on its Mediterranean coast which could help the EU diversify its gas imports. “If we can get other LNG in the region – and we will see which amounts will be available from Israel, that might be a good approach,” he said.

Timmermans stated, “The core of what I’m offering is a long-term strategic relationship that starts with LNG then quickly moves also into renewables, especially hydrogen.”

Last month, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called on Europe to expedite expansion of renewables to achieve energy security and displace Russian gas dependency. In January, the EU announced a green deal worth EUR 1 trillion to make the EU as the first carbon neutral bloc in the world.

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