EU summit: to Russia with love… and cash

Delaying climate and energy deal prolongs European dependence on imports

Press release - March 21, 2014
Brussels – EU leaders meeting at a summit in Brussels have postponed decisions on a new climate and energy deal that could help wean Europe off expensive energy imports, said Greenpeace. The heads of state and government recognised the need for Europe to strengthen its energy independence in the wake of the Ukrainian crisis, but failed to take the obvious measures.

Coal protest in Berlin

The leaders were unable to agree new targets for the EU to cut carbon emissions, develop renewable energy and improve energy efficiency by 2030. Instead, they set out a roadmap for an agreement on targets by October this year, just after a global leaders’ summit hosted by UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon in September, where post-2020 climate action will be discussed.

Commenting on the outcome of the summit, Greenpeace EU energy policy adviser Frederic Thoma said: “It looks like Putin has EU leaders on a short leash. By failing to move forward on energy policy, they have left the money taps open. Cash will continue to flow out of the European economy and into the pockets of oligarchs from Russia to Saudi Arabia until there is clear support for home-grown renewables and energy efficiency. A clean energy system is Europe’s best bet for climate protection, energy independence, security of supply and affordable energy prices.”

EU leaders will revisit proposals on climate and energy targets at another EU summit in June, where the European Commission has also been asked to present a plan for the reduction of EU energy dependence.

In 2012, Europe spent a total of about €545 billion on energy imports [1].

Greenpeace supports three binding 2030 targets for the EU to cut domestic carbon emissions by at least 55 per cent, to increase the share of renewables to 45 per cent and to improve energy efficiency by 40 per cent [2].


[1] European Commission, 22 January 2014: Energy Economic Developments in Europe, p. 112.

[2] Greenpeace media briefing, 19 March 2014: Energy: a thorny issue for the EU summit.



For energy: 

Frederic Thoma - Greenpeace EU energy policy adviser: +32 (0)486 401 895,  

Tara Connolly - Greenpeace EU energy policy adviser: +32 (0)477 790416,

For climate change and the carbon market:

Joris den Blanken - Greenpeace EU climate policy director: +32 (0)476 961375,

Greenpeace EU pressdesk: +32 (0)2 274 1911,


For breaking news and comment on EU affairs:

Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning organisation that acts to change attitudes and behaviour, to protect and conserve the environment and to promote peace. Greenpeace does not accept donations from governments, the EU, businesses or political parties.