Climate emergency is intensifying with glaciers melting at record speed, repeated droughts and floods hitting regions across the EU, most recently in Spain and Italy. The urgency to tackle greenhouse gas emissions is more imperative than ever. On top of this we have seen how fossil gas has been weaponised, threatening energy security and sinking citizens across the EU into energy poverty.
While politicians are getting ready for European elections in 2024, tackling the climate crisis by shifting away from fossil gas has to become a top priority. The future Commission and new European Parliament will have to ensure continuity of the European Green Deal and pursue measures to deeply cut energy demand, boosting renewable energy, flexibility and circularity measures but most importantly they will need to set the political agenda for phasing out fossil gas in a fair and just way by 2035. An end date for gas represents a strong incentive for economic actors to plan an orderly shift of current activities and business models away from a system based on fossil fuel consumption. Europe will become stronger through increased energy security and independence while breaking free from the threefold problem fossil gas lock-in represents: the fueling of the climate crisis, continued fossil fuel dependency and high energy price risk.
The following 10 points should guide policy makers when preparing in this regard for the next legislative cycle and post 2030 climate and energy objectives.