As the European Commission is accused of “pretending Paris didn’t happen”, new analysis warns the continent could waste up to €11.4 billion if it does not wake up to the risk of continued gas investment.
While Europe continues to tout new gas infrastructure, and support it through the use of EU funds, demand for gas is falling and at most, just a handful of new targeted projects will be needed to secure supply, warns the analysis.
It comes as the EU is back in the spotlight over climate action, following the Commission’s failure to recommend a review of the bloc’s 2030 targets in light of the ambitious promises delivered in the French capital.
Amidst renewed calls for robust climate policies that are “coherent with Paris’ goals”, the EU will be expected to speed up its move away from fossil fuels – including gas – and towards a 100 per cent renewable future.
- Europe doesn’t need new gas projects. Demand for gas fell 23 per cent in Europe over the last five years, and is expected to drop even further with increased efficiency, a rise in renewables and better infrastructure planning under the EU’s 2030 package. The EU fought for a meaningful Paris Agreement, yet its own plans for new gas infrastructure fail to take into account this new world reality, leaving it shackled to billions of dollars of projects that will ultimately prove unneeded.
- The keys to energy security are renewables and efficiency. By making smart energy choices in-line with its aims to increase efficiency and renewables, the EU could cut its gas infrastructure needs by 80 per cent and reduce imports, while meeting energy demand and putting the “Paris climate goals within reach”. The faster Europe severs its financial ties with fossil fuels – including gas – the sooner it can embrace a fully clean and secure energy future.
- Europe can regain its climate leadership by putting the Paris Agreement in action. As the EU looks to ratify the Paris Agreement, and take stock of what the agreement means for Europe, pressure is on the bloc to support more ambitious climate policies. By setting clear steps to meeting and increasing its climate targets, Europe could encourage huge clean energy investment and reap the climate, economic and health benefits. Failing to do so will leave the continent stuck on dirty energy.