Briefings

Resetting Relationships

The case for a new EU diplomatic strategy on fossil fuel producers

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Tanker ARCTIC PRINCESS vor Hammerfest on the sea
Photo courtesy Joachim Kohler Bremen on Wiki Creative Commons

Europe’s energy diplomacy has conventionally focused on securing access to fossil fuels and diversifying supply routes. The accelerating energy transition in Europe changes this picture. It presents new diplomatic challenges, such as access to technologies and markets. Meanwhile, dependence on imported coal, oil and gas is falling.

While a change in approach to energy diplomacy is needed, this does not mean that diplomatic relations with fossil fuel suppliers can be deprioritised. Fossil fuel producers are critical for Europe’s geopolitical interests on climate, security, economic stability and equity and justice. New relationships are required.

A new EU diplomatic strategy on fossil fuel producers should focus on:

  1. Just and orderly transitions: Supporting producers to transition away from fossil dependence, including through transparency on future EU demand, transition planning and sharing Europe’s experiences on just transition.
  2. Shifting financial flows: Avoiding further lock-in to stranded assets, through financial disclosures, re-directing investments by development banks and export credit agencies, and accelerating the phase-out of fossil fuel subsidies.
  3. Multilateral approaches: International convening and leadership coalitions to support a smooth and equitable transition away from fossil fuels.

Read the full briefing here.

Photo courtesy Joachim Kohler Bremen on Wiki Creative Commons.

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