Biden announces EU plan to reduce Europe’s confidence in Russian power

“We need to make sure that families in Europe get through this winter and the next, while at the same time building the infrastructure for a diversified, resilient and clean energy future,” Biden told the US chief of staff. Mission residence in Brussels.

Some However, experts suggest that ensuring the supply of fossil fuels for power plants and home heating could reduce the EU’s plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55 percent by the end of the 1990s.

As part of the partnership, the United States will work with other countries to increase liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports to Europe by at least 15 billion cubic meters this year with the aim of providing large exports in the future. U.S. officials will not say which countries will provide additional gas exports this year.

Von der Leyen praised the initiative, saying that the increased supply would replace the LNG supply that Black now receives from Russia. “Our partnership aims to sustain us through this war and to serve our freedom,” he said.

In Europe, the agreement was welcomed as a sign of US support in the midst of the crisis – but is unlikely to resolve the region’s energy woes.

“The United States is an energy power, and we need such an alliance to avoid being threatened by the Russians in Europe,” said George Zuckman, a senior colleague at the Brussels think tank.

Fifteen billion cubic meters is “nothing, it’s a sensible amount,” he said. “But it’s far from what we need in the United States in terms of security-conscious products.”

The EU has long relied heavily on Russian energy. Planned to exit – eventually – as part of a broader transition from fossil fuels. But the Russian invasion of Ukraine changed that timeline.

About 40 percent of EU gas comes from Russia, as well as more than a quarter of its oil. Europe imports over Six times as much oil from Russia According to the White House, than the United States does.

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In the aftermath of the invasion, some EU countries argued for a complete boycott, while others pushed for a more gradual approach, arguing that Europe needed time to give up cheap and abundant Russian power.

As the United States moves forward with a full embargo on Russia’s gas, oil and coal earlier this month, the European Union announced plans to cut Russia’s gas imports by two-thirds this year, reducing energy ties with Moscow – but not really severing them.

In the weeks since the siege of Ukrainian citizens, some EU countries have called for a total or total boycott. Others worry about price shocks and inflation and dismiss it.

“Until we buy energy from Russia, we are financing the war. This is the biggest problem we have,” Finnish Prime Minister Channa Marin said on Thursday.

Belgium’s Prime Minister Alexandre de Cruz, one of several EU leaders, said on Thursday that Russia’s total boycott of oil and gas would have a “devastating impact on the European economy” and that it was unnecessary.

Biden acknowledged Europe’s challenges in cutting off Russian power, but said that steps taken to prevent Russian President Vladimir Putin from using force to “coerce and manipulate his neighbors” were important.

“I know that removing Russian gas will cost Europe, but it’s not only the right thing to do from a moral standpoint, it’s going to put us on a much stronger strategic base,” he said.

Although the arrangement requires new infrastructure, including pipelines to import gas, the two leaders said the partnership aims to reduce the need for natural gas in the long run and shift towards renewable energy. Officials said they are working to expedite planning and approval for new clean energy projects and to improve the production and use of clean and renewable hydrogen.

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Not everyone sees this deal as a climate success. Lisa Fischer, project chair of E3G, an independent climate change think tank in Brussels, said the focus of the agreement on LNG and the proposed deadline was “short-sighted”.

“We need temporary energy supplies, but we don’t need them until recommended,” he said.

The White House said Friday it will work with the commission to ensure supply is “at least until 2030” – a relatively long period of time.

Under the European Green Agreement announced last year, it plans to meet 40 percent of the continent’s energy needs with renewable sources, replace fossil fuel-powered heaters in tens of thousands of buildings, and make all infrastructure more efficient. Together, these planned climate measures will provide the EU with at least 303 bcm of natural gas per year by 2030.

A Recent E3G analysis Fischer said clean energy could convert two-thirds of Russia’s gas imports by 2025. “If the United States puts pressure on the EU to extract gas while it is renewable, it will have a very bad effect,” he said.

“If that’s not the case, how many U.S. investors will invest without massive subsidies?” She continued. “At this point, we don’t know enough.”

Cassie Seagal, director of the Climate Law Institute for Biological Diversity, questioned why the United States is focusing on infrastructure to extract more fossil fuels in the midst of a climate crisis.

“New toxic export facilities and decades of high methane gas emissions are a death sentence for those at the forefront of climate emergencies and will not solve Europe’s current crisis,” Seagal said.

“President Biden must lead the world by rapidly generating renewable energy – fossil fuels should not be fed to the beast,” he said. “Approving the production of more export terminals, pipelines and fossil fuels only throws fuel into the fires of our burning world.”

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Oil and gas department officials made it clear that management should support expanded drilling and transportation plans to deliver new pledges. “Today’s announcement is an important signal to follow with the policy and measures to promote domestic oil and natural gas production and related pipeline and export infrastructure,” said Marty Durbin, chairman of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Energy Agency. .

Jason Bordoff, director of Columbia University’s Global Climate Center, said the “most repercussion” of the announcement was the EU’s commitment to obtain liquefied natural gas from the United States.

“Many US LNG projects need funding, not just US government approval, to cross the finish line, and this agreement is a strong signal that European companies must build these LNG projects,” Bordoff said. . “The question for me is how the Europeans will do it.”

Executives said Robert McNally, chairman of the Rapidon Energy Group, said he was in favor of loan guarantees from US or European governments.

McNally said today’s deal is “almost a project for a project.” But he said that did not mean that Europe would stumble in its efforts to defend itself from Russia’s oil or gas. “The sea has changed not only here, but in Europe as well,” McNally said. “Are you leaving Russia? No one talked about it before this invasion.

Shortly after the announcement, Biden left Brussels for Rzeszow, Poland, where he met with US troops stationed there and explained the humanitarian response to the crisis. The President is scheduled to hold a bilateral meeting with Polish President Andrzej Duda on Saturday.

European leaders will meet in Brussels on Friday to continue their meetings on what the war for energy is all about.

Pager report from Warsaw. Quentin Ariès reported from Brussels. Sarah Kapilon and Steven Muffson in Washington contributed to this report.

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