Business leaders call for clean energy transition to reduce reliance on Russian fossil fuels
More than 6,000 businesses leading on the sustainability movement have written to the European Union (EU), calling for policymakers to deliver a green energy transition that lessens Russia's involvement in the energy market and strengthens energy security for citizens.
As Russian troops continue their offensive in Ukraine, businesses have convened under the Corporate Leaders Group Europe (CLG Europe) and We Mean Business Coalition to urge the EU to promote a green energy transition that lessens a reliance of fossil fuels, notably those sourced from Russia.
In total, more than 6,000 businesses have supported an open letter to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to ensure the Green Deal is delivered to improve energy security across the bloc.
The letter states: “For some time, people across the EU have been impacted with volatile fossil fuel prices that increase energy costs and add to inflation. Gas prices are five times higher than just a year ago and are set to remain high in the medium-term. We need to dramatically reduce dependence on Russian fossil fuels by doubling down on the energy transition in the EU Green Deal.
“We have been profoundly shocked by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. We share your abhorrence of the human suffering it has caused and the abuse of principles of international law and human rights that we hold dear. As Europe faces this turning point, we share your determination to form a united approach across the EU to ensure that all necessary actions are taken to support Ukraine and its people.”
The call comes ahead of the Commission’s unveiling on new energy prices on Tuesday (8 March). The new plan is expected to communicate how renewables and energy efficiency measures are scaled up to reduce dependence on Russian gas.
The businesses want the EU to deliver a rapid transition away from fossil fuels, including a reduction in investment and subsidies, by electrifying heat and transport and improving the energy efficiency of the built environment.
However, not all national leaders seem on board with this message. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is reportedly calling for the gas industry to get a “pass” from climate measures, with The Times claiming that he has backed increased gas production in the US and Canada in the short term.
Last month, lawmakers from across the political spectrum voiced support for a new EU fund to shield poor households from the impact of the green transition. The European Commission tabled its social climate fund in July last year as a way to compensate households impacted by a proposed new carbon price on road transport and heating fuels.
edie’s content partner Euractiv reports that lawmakers are unified in the belief that all revenues coming from the new carbon issued under the fund should to be returned to EU citizens. Under the European Commission’s proposal, only 25% of the expected revenue would go towards the social climate fund.
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