Climate campaigners disappointed as REPowerEU leaves energy poor out in the cold

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Friends of the Earth calls on Europe to do more to end reliance on fossil fuels

Today’s REPowerEU[1] strategy puts forward a €300 billion plan to reduce dependence on Russian gas by ~66% by the end of 2022, and end it by 2027. Ahead of its release, the key question on the minds of climate organisations was whether the EU will merely replace Russian fossil fuels with other dirty fossil fuels or seek to end Europe’s fossil fuel reliance and accelerate renewables and energy efficiency for those most at risk of energy poverty. The end result is a mix of both. While the plan positively puts forward increased renewable targets (from 40% to 45%), energy efficiency targets (from 9% to 13%), and a solar PV rooftop mandate, it fails to offer additional actions to tackle energy poverty. It also focuses on increasing imports of non-Russian LNG and pipeline gas and investing billions in new gas import terminals [2].

Commenting Dr Bríd Walsh, Climate Policy Coordinator with Friends of the Earth said:

“Rather than more fossil fuels, what is really needed now is a laser focus on securing exponential growth in wind and solar energy while protecting nature. Across the EU we should be adding at least 4 times more wind and solar per year than 2020 levels. We also need a steep ramping up of home energy renovations, heat pumps, solar PV roofs and electrification so that there is annual growth of at least 5 million new solar PV roofs, heat pumps, and renovations in 2025. This would cut emissions, shield citizens and communities from high fossil fuel prices - and, as recent research has shown, it would allow the EU to be independent from Russian gas in 4 years without additional gas imports from other countries.”



  1. REPowerEU is a strategy to make Europe independent from Russian fossil fuels by 2030. It was presented to the European Parliament on 8 March 2022. A legislative proposal will be released on 18 May 2022 which will then need to be approved by the European Parliament and European Council.
  2. Annual non-Russian LNG imports will be increased by +50bcm or 10 times the annual Irish fossil gas consumption, and pipeline gas are expected to be increased by +10bcm.


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