From the Green Deal to REPower EU

What about the EU’s Southern fossil gas suppliers?

Policy Brief

23/02/2023

The EU’s external dimension of the green deal published at the start of 2021 focuses on a just green transition, calls for the phasing out of harmful fossil fuel subsidies and discourages further investments into fossil fuel-based energy infrastructure projects in third countries. However, since the invasion of Russia in Ukraine one year later, the European Union has been wrestling to find alternatives for Russian gas.

The attention of the Member States and the European Commission turned towards its fossil fuel exporters Algeria and Egypt, with energy diplomacy doing overtime. The focus of the EU has been on

1) agreeing middle to long term fossil gas contracts

2) importing green hydrogen

This shift towards middle to long term fossil gas contracts could have an impact at a crucial moment, with the COP27 in Egypt being a disappointment to many. The EU’s actorness, including in its neighbourhood, is vital to achieve its claimed climate leadership and convincing others to follow. Also the focus on green hydrogen could jeopardise the EU’s trustworthiness.

Focusing on the export of green hydrogen for its own needs before having fulfilled the renewable energy needs of its Southern Neighbourhood partners seems to repeat the mistakes the EU made during the 2000s. The EU had been accused by its Southern Neighbourhood of green colonialism when investing in renewable energy projects such as Desertec in its South for export to the EU. Instead the EU should focus on ‘no regret’ options such as investing in an enabling framework to fulfil its fossil fuel exporting partners needs of more energy efficiency and renewable energy, as well as technical assistance to tackle methane leaks and to address venting and flaring. This could liberate more fossil gas for export in the shorter term, prevent fossil fuel lock-in for its partners while being in line with its climate leadership role.

Network
Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
UNU-CRIS
Related publications
07/02/2023

The path towards a socially just Fit for 55 package

How have social elements of the Fit for 55 Package evolved in the context of the climate, energy, and cost-of-living crises?
07/12/2022

The Russia-Ukraine war: An inflection point for sustainable energy transitions

Russia’s war on Ukraine has led to a reorientation of EU energy policy towards phasing […]
21/11/2022

The EU and North Africa: Towards a just Twin Transition?

In an era marked by a deficiency in sustainable growth and a profusion of novel […]
Find all related publications
Publications
15/03/2023

A five-point agenda for how development cooperation can support EU’s strategic autonomy

European Strategic Autonomy series - Economy & Trade
13/03/2023

EU fiscal rules: Time for a reboot

The EU fiscal rules are one of, if not the most discussed aspects of EU […]
28/02/2023

Progressive pathways to European strategic autonomy 

European Strategic Autonomy series
23/02/2023

From the Green Deal to REPower EU

What about the EU’s Southern fossil gas suppliers?
Find all related events
Events
Upcoming
12/04/2023
Online (Expert meeting)

Social measures in the NRRPs

Recovery Watch series
Past
14/03/2023
Dublin, Ireland

EU fiscal rules: Time for a reboot?

FEPS policy study launch
03/03/2023
Warsaw, Poland

The future of EU Strategic Autonomy

Global Progressive Forum
Find all related news
News
20/02/2023

Let’s end involuntary unemployment!

European survey on the perception of unemployment and publicly funded jobs
07/02/2023

New study on how and why social issues have increased in prominence during the EP negotiations

Progress towards inclusive economic transition but need for further improvements in terminology and framing of vulnerable groups
26/01/2023

Grzegorz Pietruczuk is FEPS Progressive Person of the Year

FEPS Progressive Person of the Year 2023
13/01/2023

New manifesto giving international impetus to Lula da Silva’s environmental policy

FEPS President, among the 50 scientists and former politicians from Brazil and Portugal who signed the manifesto
Find all related in the media
In the media

Wie der Ukraine-Krieg die europäische Politik verändert

by Vorwärts 24/02/2023
'How the war in Ukraine changed European politics' Vorwärts article written by László Andor, FEPS Secretary General and Uwe Optenhoegel, FEPS Vice-President

En Europe, le marché unique fête ses 30 ans, entre satisfaction et désillusion

by Le Monde 01/02/2023
'In Europe, the single market celebrates its 30th anniversary, between satisfaction and disillusionment' Le Monde article with an intervention by László Andor, FEPS Secretary General

Personalidades de Portugal e Brasil defendem parceria estratégica para o clima entre UE e Brasil

by Visão 12/01/2023
'Personalities from Portugal and Brazil defend EU-Brazil strategic partnership on climate' Visão's article about the manifesto signed by 50 personalities from Portugal and Brazil, including FEPS President Maria João Rodrigues, in support of Lula’s environmental policy

UE e Mercosul: manifesto quer tornar o “clima estável” um bem da humanidade com força legal

by Público 12/01/2023
Público's article about the manifesto signed by 50 personalities from Portugal and Brazil, including FEPS President Maria João Rodrigues, in support of Lula’s environmental policy