As citizens of the European Union start to vote in European Parliament elections, political leaders across Europe are talking up their commitment to "energy independence". But in reality the EU continues to fuel its addiction to fossil fuels at a time when we know renewable energy can deliver for all and we must keep the vast majority of fossil fuels in the ground if we are to prevent climate chaos.
Two leaks this week confirmed this wrong direction. The EU's "energy security" plan – irony of ironies – does not make Europe more secure. Rather, it perpetuates Europe's dependence on energy imports. Renewable energy and energy efficiency are ready to provide secure, clean energy for all Europeans. But the EU rather wants to make fossil fuel companies across the world richer than opt for a true Energy Revolution at home.
That's also clear in the EU's energy proposal for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a major (and controversial) new trade deal currently being negotiated behind closed doors by the European Union and the United States. Greenpeace, together with many allies in civil society, is opposed to TTIP. And a look at the EU's energy proposal only strengthens our opposition.
This proposal, as an analysis by our friends at Sierra Club and PowerShift shows, would increase fossil fuel imports from the US to Europe, lead to more oil and gas extraction in the United States (to be exported to Europe) and undermine Europe's ability to chart an independent course in it's energy policy. The proposal only refers to renewable energy negatively, by proposing to ban the ability of governments to require local production of renewables. On the other hand, US oil companies are set to earn major windfall profits if export restrictions on oil are removed in the US.
Will the next European Parliament act to stop this plan for cooking our planet further? Will politicians choose real energy independence based on renewable energy and energy efficiency? If you live in the European Union, this also depends on you.
Check how the parties in the European Parliament voted on key climate issues in the last parliament. Check which parties oppose TTIP and which support it (you can find that info for example here for Germany). Help Europe make the right choice and turn it's back on dirty and dangerous energy.
Daniel Mittler is the Political Director of Greenpeace International.