Environmentalists fault EU’s alternative to Russian Gas instead of renewables


By Arodiegwu Eziukwu

A Coalition of Environment focused Civil Society Organisations on Thursday berated the European Union for seeking to build alternative gas pipelines as alternative to Russian gas.

The organisations noted that the boycott of Russian gas was an opportunity to fast track the switch to renewable energy sources rather than building new gas pipelines for gas.

The positions of the coalition are contained in a statement issued on their behalf by Miss Kome Odhomor, Media/Communication Lead at Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF).

They argued that the plan announced on Wednesday by the EU President on Wednesday did not address the challenges posed by the global energy crisis.

The EU on Wednesday called on the United States, Canada, African and Gulf countries to open up new gas supplies to displace supplies of Russian oil and gas.

“The strategy fails to address the impacts the energy crisis, the global

impacts of the war in Ukraine, and Western sanctions have on developing

countries dependent on oil and gas imports.

“It also contravenes the EU’s commitments laid out in the REpowerEU strategy to reduce its gas demand by 30% by 2030.

“It is entirely reckless that the EU calls on African nations to open up

more gas supplies to feed their fossil fuel addiction.

“African countries are faced with a multitude of interlinked and mutually reinforcing crises.

“They inc!ude climate impacts, waterscarcity, energy poverty, insufficient food production, post-covid impacts, leaving millions of people vulnerable and unable to meet their basic needs.” the stayement quoted Landry Ninteretse of as saying.

According to the statement, Svitlana Romanko, Stand With Ukraine campaign coordinator, Ukraine said:

“Russia’s outrageous war against Ukraine fully exposed Europe’s

dependence on fossil fuel imports and lack of political willpower to
lead the green revolution globally.

“The European oil and gas-led energy

security has failed, and we have to acknowledge this.

“The EU is poignantly slow in banning and phasing out Russian fossil fuels and

every day still sending about one billion euros to feed Putin’s warmachine.

“But far more active in mobilizing oil and gas reserves worldwide.

“This severely undermines the EU global leadership in green

transformation declared by the EU Green Deal and brings us back to the

dark times of fossil fueled colonialism”.

The statement also quoted Dr Nnimmo Bassy, Director at HOMEF and Oilwatch Africa as saying:.

“Now is the time for renewables to be at the core of global energy

policies. Ukraine is not just a wake-up call, it is an eye-opener in the heart of Europe.

‘Instead, the continent, like a drug addict, is turning to Africa in what simply amounts to a rash, stubborn, mindless, colonial pursuit of profit at the expense of people of Africa, the continent and the entire planet.

“We need to be thinking beyond the bottom line of those who have brought us to the brink of catastrophe.

“Anything less will be nothing other than willful climate and ecological crimes,”

Also reacting, Maria Pastukhova, Energy Diplomacy at E3G was also quoted as saying.

“In its current form, the External Energy Strategy questions the EU’s

ability to navigate the ongoing crisis.

“The EU is about to miss yet another opportunity to take on the role of the global leader supporting the emerging markets and developing economies in addressing the energy and climate emergency.

“This “international crisis response”, driven by the incumbent interests of fossil fuel industry, is short-sighted and risks diluting the strong signal that the remaining REpowerEU strategy sends to foreign partners,”

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