Climate protection and independence from Russian energy imports require exactly the same decisions in the medium and long term / short-term compromises in environmental policy are necessary

“The Green Deal is the solution, not the problem. Climate protection and independence from imports of gas, oil and coal from Russia requires the same measures in the medium and long term, which is why we must not question the European Commission's "Fit for 55" package now, but rather strengthen and prioritize different aspects of it. In the short-term it is necessary that also environmental politicians are making compromises so that we become as independent as possible from imports from Russia.” This emphasized the environmental spokesperson of the biggest group in parliament (EPP, Christian-Democrats) regarding the presentation of the package of the European Commission on affordable, save and sustainable energy in the EU.

The Commission has explained how it intends to ensure energy security in Europe in the face of the Russian invasion and the terrible war in Ukraine. The paper states that Russian gas imports currently amount to 155 billion cubic meters.
100 billion of these would be replaced by the "Fit for 55" package. In the short term, elements of the package are to be advanced in order to become independent even more quickly. At the same time, the supply of gas has to be diversified. Biomethane should play a bigger role. Its potential is estimated at 34 billion tons. Simultaneously, the development of hydrogen is to be brought forward. The Commission announces a solar strategy for June this year and wants to simplify the procedures for expanding renewable energy systems in the short term. Heat pumps will play an important role.

“I fully agree with the Commission that heat pumps are an important part of the solution, both in the private and in the industrial sector.

Firstly, heat pumps can make us independent of gas and oil. They are based on electricity, but use this electricity extremely efficiently and we cannot only use alternatives such as coal and nuclear energy (in the short term), but above all renewable energies. Secondly, heat pumps are also a partner for renewable energies, since heat can be continuously accessed without continuously using electricity. They are an ideal buffer to adapt to the fluctuations in sun and wind. The innovation fund is to be brought forward in order to accelerate the decarbonization of the industrial sector.”

Liese explicitly welcomed this point, for which he is personally responsible as rapporteur for emissions trading, and also supported the general orientation of the paper: "I am somewhat disappointed that the figure of 45 percent for renewable energies and energy efficiency, which is set in Parliament as a minimum requirement in these areas is not in the paper.” In addition, as spokesperson for environmental policy, he demands that environmental politicians have to make short-term compromises in order to reduce the dependence on Russian gas, coal and oil.

“An important point is also the security of supply with food. Much of the world's grain, crops, and much of other important food and seed comes from Russia and Ukraine. If this breaks down, we must be prepared to make short-term compromises, for example in the extensification of agriculture, and support our farmers in compensating for the loss as best as we can,” Liese concludes.