Brussels – The Commission today published a gas package proposal which fails to recognise that renewables and energy efficiency can secure Europe’s energy supply. It defies the commitments taken under the Paris climate agreement last December.

Jiri Jerabek, energy policy adviser at Greenpeace EU, said: “It’s like the Paris agreement never happened and the Commission is stuck on gas, dishing out a costly proposal that will keep Europe hooked on energy imports. It is high time Europe embraces the renewable energy transition. Only if it focuses on renewables and energy efficiency will Europe meet its climate targets and reduce its dependence on foreign energy supplies”.

A recent report by the European Court of Auditors on security of supply [1] states that ‘the Commission has persistently overestimated gas demand (…), and needs to restore the credibility of the forecasts it uses’. As a 2014 Greenpeace analysis showed [2], strong EU efforts to deploy renewable energy and energy efficiency can lead to a 45 per cent share of renewables in 2030. This would help Europe avoid annual imports of about 90 billion cubic meters of gas by 2030.   

The Commission is likely to once again overstate future gas demand, if it ignores the contribution of renewable energy and energy efficiency in decarbonising Europe’s economy and securing energy supplies.

Natural gas will continue to play a role in the energy system, but must be strictly limited to prevent it from blocking the expansion of renewables. When implementing its gas package, the Commission must take into account that gas demand is shrinking and that renewable energy and energy efficiency are the priority to increase Europe’s security of supply, and fight global warming.

Notes:

[1] Improving the security of energy supply by developing the internal energy market: more efforts needed. European Court of Auditors, special report No 16, 2015.

[2] New report shines light on EU summit discussions on energy security, Greenpeace, June 2014.

Contacts:

Jiri Jerabek, energy policy adviser, Greenpeace EU: +32(0)471 758 985, jiri.jerabek@greenpeace.org

Greenpeace EU press desk:  +32 (0)2 274 19 11, pressdesk.eu@greenpeace.org

For breaking news and comment on EU affairs: www.twitter.com/GreenpeaceEU

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.