Eleven former EU commissioners, including Romano Prodi for Italy, are asking Brussels to cut Europe’s dependence on fossil fuels.
The letter was sent on Tuesday 03 May to Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, with the signatures of eleven former European Commissioners from as many member States.
The signatories ask von der Leyen to eliminate Europe’s dependence on fossil fuels that are financing Russia’s war in Ukraine. The signatories also call for:
- The creation of a ‘Green Emergency Pact’ that would enable the EU, through the REPowerEU package, to maximize the ability of European society to help reduce dependence on Russian gas. Suggested initiatives include an extraordinary and urgent mobilization for the expansion of energy efficiency measures and renewables, along with an awareness campaign aimed at reducing domestic gas use and an appropriate social support mechanism for low-income households.
- That the EU show resolve in the face of the crisis in Ukraine by accelerating the climate action contained in the Fit for 55 package, increasing its ambition.
- To avoid further fossil technology lock-ins:
–ensuring that new gas agreements are time bound;
-withdrawing the delegated act labeling gas and nuclear as green within the EU taxonomy;
–adjusting the ‘gas package’ published last December.
The letter highlights that the complementary delegated act on gas and nuclear would prolong European dependence on energy sources, which are a source of geopolitical instability, and that simple diversification of fossil sources ‘(…) will only serve to maintain EU energy dependence on other countries, many of which do not respect EU values.’
In light of the war in Ukraine, the high gas prices, and the reasons highlighted in this letter, Italy should also take a clear stance against gas in the taxonomy. A choice not only consistent with its climate goals, but also sensible from an economic point of view, as highlighted in our earlier analysis.