[Source: BBC News]
The European Commission has given more details on how it plans to end Europe’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels.
Russia supplies 40% of the EU’s natural gas and 27% of its imported oil. The EU sends the country roughly €400 billion a year in return.
Now the EU plans to speed up its shift to green energy but says it must also invest in pipelines in other countries.
It has been accused of helping fund the war in Ukraine through its use of Russian energy.
The REPowerEU strategy was first announced in March with the stated aim of reducing Russian gas imports by two thirds in 2022.
Rising energy costs have also put financial pressure on consumers and businesses in Europe now facing higher bills.
The updated proposals outline not just how the EU plans to negotiate both the immediate gas crisis, but also deliver on promises to completely wean itself off Russian energy by 2030.
The strategy focuses on three key topic areas. Improving energy efficiency, expanding the use of renewable energy and securing non-Russian suppliers of oil and gas.
“We are taking our ambition to yet another level,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said as she presented the update at a briefing in Brussels, Belgium.
The REPowerEU plan is estimated to cost €210 billion (£178 billion) over the next five years.
The Commission report highlights energy saving as the “cheapest, safest and cleanest” way to reduce dependence on Russian fuel.
It wants to improve how buildings of insulated, as well as encourage consumers to be more aware of energy use.
It also plans to speed up the transition from fossil fuel burning boilers to electric heat pumps (a device that absorbs heat from the air, ground or water around a building)
Plans to reduce energy consumption in the EU have also made more ambitious, from the original plan of a 9% cut to 13% cut by 2030.