© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis speaks during an interview with Reuters in Brussels, Belgium, February 23, 2022. REUTERS/Clement Rossignol
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union is not planning to relax its ambitious goal of moving away from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis said on Tuesday.
Because Russia is the main supplier of gas, oil and coal to the EU, the war in Ukraine and the subsequent sanctions imposed on Russia have caused a sharp spike in prices.
This prompted some countries to call for a relaxation of EU plans to phase out use of coal, whose combustion is very carbon-intensive, to help keep overall energy prices down during the transition period.
The 27-nation EU wants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 and reach net zero emissions by 2050 – a plan that entails the closure of coal-powered plants.
“Despite the war we are not now resetting our green transition targets, we are sticking to the green transition targets,” Dombrovskis told the Brussels Economic Forum.
“Moving away from Russian fuels will at the end of the day mean moving away from all fossil fuels,” he said.