Brussels, 12 September 2017 – Today, the European Parliament voted for a new regulation that provides a set of cross-border measures to deal with supply shortages, which includes the elimination of barriers for gas flow.
Food & Water Europe is disappointed that the final text of the regulation fails to see the bigger picture and does not contain a long-term view on how to tackle the problems around gas supply; specifically, it does not question the problems of Europe’s dependence on gas itself.
“The text barely mentions demand side measures crucial to reducing peak demand or energy efficiency measures capable of significantly reducing our gas use,” says Frida Kieninger, campaign officer at Food & Water Europe. “Considering the known impact of fossil fuels on climate change, it is crucial that investment in new fossil fuel infrastructure is limited as much as possible, if not completely ceased.”
With every 1% in gas demand reduction, the EU can decrease its import dependence by 2.6%. The European gas network is already prepared for a range of disruption scenarios, with only parts of South-Eastern Europe lacking supply security measures.
“Instead of focussing on new interconnections and expanding bi-directional capacity, the EU Parliament must open its eyes to real solutions and not implement a mere treatment of symptoms. Industry has been given a big role in assessing the needed measures to secure European gas supply, so it is not a big surprise that the construction of more gas infrastructure is seen as a main approach to enhance energy security. We clearly see an issue of conflict of interest here,” says Kieninger.
Europe does not need more pipelines, locking us into fossil gas with its devastating impact on the climate and the safety, health and environment of supply countries. All efforts need to be directed towards real, long-term solutions, including aggressive investment in distributed renewable energy generation and energy efficiency measures.
Frida Kieninger, Food & Water Europe, Campaign Officer, Rue d’Edimbourg 26, Brussels 1050, Belgium, +32 487 24 99 05, fkieninger(at)fweurope.org