European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen is in Baku at this time, the place she is going to search extra pure gasoline from Azerbaijan.
It is a well timed transfer, though provides of Azeri gasoline (20 bcm/y) can’t change the quantities of Russian gasoline to which the EU has change into addicted over time (155 bcm/y).
With the winter season approaching, the EU is struggling to search out replacements for the Russian gasoline, be it from extra pipeline gasoline provides from Norway, Azerbaijan, or US Liquified Pure Fuel.
Brussels is even prepared to just accept gas oil and worse, a short lived revival of coal energy era as a substitute for gasoline, regardless of the rise in CO2 emissions it will trigger.
Up to now, Russia has stopped delivering gasoline to Poland, Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, and the Netherlands and lowered its provides considerably to its greatest purchasers, Germany and Italy. (In Germany’s case, the issue is reportedly a lacking turbine for Nord Stream 1.)
If Russia stops its exports to the EU altogether, probably with an exception for Hungary, which is able to hold Russian gasoline for itself, this will likely be a winter we’ll always remember.
The looming disaster is a chance to mirror on the EU’s vitality coverage errors in recent times and maybe discover transfer ahead.
To start with, the EU didn’t be taught the teachings from the 2009 gasoline disaster, when Russian gasoline stopped flowing towards the EU through Ukraine, as a result of a scandal wherein each Moscow and Kyiv blamed one another.
The principle results of this disaster ought to have been for the EU to drastically cut back the quantity of gasoline it imports from Russia. As a substitute, the German Energiewende was largely primarily based on the elevated use of Russian gasoline to compensate for the closure of nationwide capability in nuclear and coal.
Germany was not the one one to take selections it’s now regretting. Poland, Romania, and Bulgaria have been exploring their important potential to develop shale gasoline however deserted these plans. It’s usually accepted that Russian disinformation was largely liable for these selections.
Within the meantime, Russia determined to skip Ukraine as a transit nation. In hindsight, we all know this opened the door to the present aggression in opposition to this pro-Western former Soviet republic.
That is how Russia constructed two pipelines circumventing Ukraine: Nord Stream 2 throughout the Baltic Sea to the German coast and TurkStream throughout the Black Sea, bringing Russian gasoline to EU territory with the entry level in Bulgaria.
Each initiatives got here beneath heavy criticism from the US, however Brussels saved its eyes closed.
The Fee was making noises about joint purchases of Russian gasoline, however nothing occurred. The EU government even dropped its landmark Gazprom probe, closing it with beneficial circumstances for Russia.
When then-US President Donald Trump mentioned on the UN that “Germany will change into completely depending on Russian vitality except it adjustments course”, he was ridiculed and obtained an eye-roll from attending German officers.
The EU didn’t benefit from the invention of main offshore gasoline fields within the Cyprus financial zone. The division of Cyprus, which the EU couldn’t remedy, though your entire island is formally EU territory, has prevented us from tapping into this useful resource.
Within the brief time period, the EU can’t change all of the Russian gasoline to which it’s addicted with gasoline from different sources. In any case, changing Russian gasoline with different imported gasoline just isn’t an answer.
Aside from growing home assets, when and the place that is attainable, as in Romania, which is beginning to extract offshore gasoline from the Black Sea, the obvious resolution is massively growing renewable energies.
Nuclear, regardless of being controversial, has a brilliant future within the EU international locations the place there may be public acceptance of this know-how.
Lastly, regardless of the context, the EU coverage assumption ought to now be zero gasoline imports from Russia.
If the circumstances permit and the worth is true, Russian gasoline may very well be imported, however it must be an ancillary and never the first supply. And if an EU nation makes its coverage “zero gasoline from Russia”, it ought to cease importing Russian gasoline from different EU international locations, as Poland does from Germany.
And in the long run, the final EU coverage must be zero gasoline. However extra probably, that is for the subsequent era of Europeans.
Because the EU prepares to impose one other spherical of punitive measures on Russia over Ukraine, the bloc’s overseas ministers insisted on Monday that the earlier six rounds of sanctions have been efficient.
Russian gasoline provides have dropped through main routes, and the one unaffected route brings gasoline now solely to Russia’s European associates – Serbia and Hungary.
As monkeypox instances within the EU nearly double in every week, the European Fee’s Well being Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA) secured over 54,000 extra vaccine doses.
Whereas Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is accelerating a world meals disaster, an government from a number one crop vitamin firm spoke to EURACTIV about how the agricultural sector can stabilise meals provide in an environmentally delicate means.
Among the many Czech Presidency’s proposed adjustments to the AI Act are a narrower definition of Synthetic Intelligence (AI), a revised and shortened checklist of high-risk techniques and a stronger function for the AI Board.
The nationalisation of French vitality big EDF was “inevitable,” mentioned the HEC Paris Vitality & Finance Chair Director, because of the “enormous quantity of regulatory and financial constraints.”
In the meantime, the UK is setting the stage for its future Synthetic Intelligence (AI) regulatory mannequin, differing from the EU by entrusting enforcement to a panel of regulators.
In different information, one yr after the breaking of the Pegasus scandal, many argue that there may be nonetheless a technique to go by way of transparency, accountability and regulation.
Look out for…
- EU-Azerbaijan Cooperation Council in Brussels on Tuesday.
- Price range Commissioner Johannes Hahn in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia to current NextGenerationEU funding technique by way of Saturday.
- Worldwide Commerce Committee delegation in Bangladesh by way of Wednesday
- Budgetary Management Committee delegation in Warsaw by way of Wednesday
Views are the writer’s.
[Edited by Zoran Radosavljevic/ Alice Taylor]