06 October 2022

EU told to get serious on renewable energy and energy efficiency as member state spending on Russian fossil fuels tops €100 billion

PRAGUE, 6 OCTOBER 2022 – With EU member state payments for Russian fossil fuels topping €100 billion since the invasion of Ukraine, Greenpeace activists staged a protest in Prague today to call on European heads of state who are meeting nearby to boost renewable energy solutions and energy savings measures. The protesters held up a Europe Beyond Coal banner which said: “Your inaction on renewables is proving costly. 87% of Europeans want “massive investments” in renewables.”

Most Europeans think “the EU should invest massively in renewable energies such as solar and wind” and “should reduce its dependency on Russian sources of energy as soon as possible” [1]. Yet EU governments are not supporting more ambitious renewable targets [2] against the desires of ordinary citizens.

“The message we want to deliver to politicians today is that their continued refusal to properly invest in energy savings and renewable energy instead of deepening ties with the fossil fuel industry has left our societies inherently vulnerable. The solution to the energy crisis is not to swap one pipeline for another, but to learn from past mistakes, and to rapidly build renewables and embrace energy savings, which are real long-term guarantees of energy security,” said Miriam Macurová, Campaigner at Greenpeace Czech Republic. 

“Europe is in the midst of a full-blown fossil fuel crisis, and 87 percent of Europeans see massive investments in renewable energy solutions as the answer. With the prospect of a further two trillion euro leap in bills next year, EU renewable energy and energy efficiency targets need to be much more ambitious,” said Duygu Kutluay, campaigner at Europe Beyond Coal.

“It is heartbreaking to see our dependency on fossil fuels driving millions into poverty, funding war, and deepening the climate crisis. But by committing to an energy efficiency target of at least 20 percent, and a renewable energy target of at least 50 percent, we can lower our exposure to Russian, and other fossil fuels, and build the new renewable energy solutions we need to turn the situation around. National and EU policy makers must seize the opportunity and agree to higher targets,” said Elif Gündüzyeli, Energy Policy Expert at CAN Europe.

ENDS

Contacts:

Alastair Clewer, Senior Communications Manager, Europe Beyond Coal
[email protected], +49 176 433 07 185

Miriam Macurová, Campaigner at Greenpeace Czech Republic
[email protected] +420 771 154 362

Duygu Kutluay, Campaigner at Europe Beyond Coal
[email protected], +90 532 6385421 

Elif Gündüzyeli, Energy Policy Expert at CAN Europe
[email protected],+32 (0)493 935 645 

Notes:

  1. Standard Eurobarometer 97 – Summer 2022: https://europa.eu/eurobarometer/surveys/detail/2693
  2. https://caneurope.org/reaction-eu-parliament-votes-on-higher-targets-for-energy-efficiency-and-renewable-energy/
  3. EU member states have spent over 102 billion euros on Russian fossil fuels since Russia’s full scale invasion of Ukraine: https://beyond-coal.eu/russian-fossil-fuel-tracker/
  4. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-09-06/goldman-sees-2-trillion-surge-in-europe-energy-bills-by-2023
  5. Switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy could save the world as much as 12 trillion USD by 2050, according to an Oxford University study: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-62892013

About:
Europe Beyond Coal is an alliance of civil society groups working to ensure a just transition to a fossil-free, fully renewables-based European energy sector. This means exiting coal entirely by 2030 at the latest, and fossil gas by 2035 in the power sector. We devote our time and resources to this independent campaign because we are committed to seeing a European energy system that protects people, nature and our global climate: www.beyond-coal.eu

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