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EU-US energy deal – Short-sighted bet by transatlantic partnership

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US President Biden at the European Commission ahead of the EU-US energy deal being announced on 24 March. Image via Flickr: valstskanceleja
US President Biden at the European Commission ahead of the EU-US energy deal being announced on 24 March. Image via Flickr: valstskanceleja

US President Biden and European Commission President von der Leyen agreed the EU-US energy deal delivering a joint statement on energy security, announcing a task force.

A third of Russian gas imports (50 bcm) will be replaced with US LNG out to 2030, with a mobilisation of 10% of RU gas imports (15 bcm) this year already. 

Cooperation to be established to lower European gas demand via reducing industrial gas demand, accelerating renewables and energy efficiency solutions. 

Story – EU-US energy deal

This is a litmus test for the EU-US partnership which needs to rise to several intersecting crises: A security crisis, an energy crisis, a food crisis as well as the climate crisis. To emerge stronger US and EU must find the solutions that strengthens their partnership across all of these.  

Cooperation for implementation and acceleration of the Green Deal is the strongest and most enduring leverage the EU and the US have over Russia’s fossil-based elite. It also could demonstrate leadership as countries around the world struggle with soaring commodity prices and impacts of the climate crisis. 

Today’s statement fails to put the US-EU partnership on a stronger geopolitical footing. A long-term commitment of the EU to import gas it will likely not need introduces an unhealthy imbalance into the relationship. It prioritises outdated measures over those that could create stronger, healthier and more future oriented US and EU trade and geopolitical partnership.  

Recent analysis has shown that clean energy solutions can replace two-thirds of Russian gas imports by 2025 already. New gas import infrastructure is not required to refill the remaining temporary gap of 50bcm which is expected to decline steadily out to 2030.  Joint action to reduce EU gas demand is a welcome new focus in the transatlantic relationship but should be placed first and underpinned fast with concrete action.  

Quotes – EU-US energy deal

Raphael Hanoteaux, Senior Policy Advisor Gas Transition at E3G said: 

“This Liquified Natural Gas-based diversification strategy is a very expensive, short sighted security measure, not a long-term transition option. The EU and the US must instead put clean energy and lowering energy demand at the core of its energy security partnership. This is a more affordable and sustainable solution that does not lock Europe into infrastructure or deals it does not need.” 

Sarah Jackson, Policy Advisor for transatlantic diplomacy at E3G said: 

“Ramping up US LNG exports sends the wrong signals on the global energy transition and on the readiness to move the world beyond fossil fuelled autocratic regimes. An energy partnership based on rapid renewable energy deployment and support for efficiency measures would create stronger, more sustainable economies rather than reinforcing short-sighted measures that favour US fossil fuel interests.” 

Available for comment – EU-US energy deal

Raphael Hanoteaux (EN, FR, ES), Senior Policy Advisor, Gas politics 
m: +32 (0) 496 205 903  raphael.hanoteaux@e3g.org  

Sarah Jackson (EN), Policy Advisor, Transatlantic Diplomacy 
m: +49 (0) 171 302 1113 sarah.jackson@e3g.org 

–  ENDS – 

Notes to Editors 

  1. E3G is an independent climate change think tank with a global outlook. We work on the frontier of the climate landscape, tackling the barriers and advancing the solutions to a safe climate. Our goal is to translate climate politics, economics and policies into action. About – E3G 
  2. E3G published a joint analysis with other EU think tanks looking at the potential to reduce EU as demand via clean measures out to 2025. This analysis is available here
  3. For further enquiries email press@e3g.org or phone +44 (0)7783 787 863 

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