US President Joe Biden and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen shake hands after talking about tariffs on steel and aluminum, on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Rome, Italy on October 31, 2021.
Kevin Lamarck | Reuters
The United States said on Friday it will work with international partners to provide at least an additional 15 billion cubic meters of liquefied natural gas to Europe this year, in a bid to end the bloc’s dependence on Russian energy exports in the wake of the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine.
The White House said in a statement that these additional quantities of liquefied natural gas are expected to increase in the future.
This comes amid growing concern that energy-importing countries will continue to hold the position of president Russian President Vladimir PutinWar fund with oil and gas revenues on a daily basis.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen described the US commitment to provide additional LNG this year as a “major step in that direction”. “Thank you for your support for energy security in Europe and its independence from Russia,” von der Leyen said on Twitter on Friday.
The United States and the European Union announced the formation of a joint working group to enhance the energy security of Ukraine and the European Union in the coming winter and the following winter.
The Energy Security Task Force will be chaired by a representative from the White House and a representative from the European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union.
The United States and the European Union said the task force’s primary goals would be to diversify LNG supplies in line with climate goals and reduce demand for natural gas.
The initiative will likely require new facilities to import LNG, especially as the European Union seeks to increase its demand for US gas supplies.
The White House said the European Union will work toward the goal of ensuring, until at least 2030, demand for approximately 50 billion cubic meters per year of additional US LNG. This is “consistent with our common net zero goals,” she added.
“This will also be done on the basis that prices should reflect long-term market fundamentals and stability of supply and demand,” the US said.
Russian energy is a major source of revenue and political pressure for Moscow.
In fact, the European Union currently receives approximately 40% of its gas through Russian pipelines, many of which pass through Ukraine.
The revenue was from Russian oil and gas I saw to be responsible for roughly 43% of the Kremlin’s federal budget between 2011 and 2020, highlighting how fossil fuels play a central role for the Russian government.
Russia’s war with Ukraine has coincided with a sharp rise in coal, oil and gas prices as countries scramble to replace Russian energy sources.
The rush to deepen humanity’s dependence on fossil fuels in the wake of the crisis in Ukraine prompted a stern warning from United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
“Countries can become so consuming countries of the immediate fossil fuel supply gap that they ignore or ignore policies to reduce fossil fuel use,” Guterres said earlier this week. “And that’s crazy: Addiction to fossil fuels is a guaranteed mutual destruction.”
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