EU, USA Pledge Energy Security as Russia Threatens Ukraine

BRUSSELS, Belgium, January 28, 2022 (ENS) – In a joint statement today, U.S. President Joe Biden and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen reinforced their cooperation on energy security. The two leaders made their position clear in the face of Russia’s buildup of an estimated 100,000 troops on its border with Ukraine.

“We are jointly committed to Europe’s energy security and sustainability and to accelerating the global transition to clean energy. We also share the objective of ensuring the energy security of Ukraine and the progressive integration of Ukraine with the EU gas and electricity markets,” the two presidents said.

The EU and the United States cooperate closely on energy policy, decarbonization and security of supply in the U.S.-EU Energy Council. Their commitments to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, through clean energy, in particular renewables, energy efficiency, and technologies, provide a path to energy security and reduced dependence on fossil fuels.

“The current challenges to European security underscore our commitment to accelerating and carefully managing the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy,” Presidents Biden and von der Leyen said.

Over the last decade, the EU has invested in diversification of supply through infrastructure and reinforcement of its internal energy networks, increasing the resilience and flexibility of EU energy markets.

“The European Commission will intensify work with Member States for security of supply, within transparent and competitive gas markets in a manner compatible with long-term climate goals and reaching net-zero emissions by 2050,” the two leaders explained.

“While that process intensifies during this critical decade, we are committed to working closely together to overcome today’s challenges of security of supply and high prices in energy markets,” they said.

They committed to intensifying their strategic energy cooperation for security of supply and promised to work together to make reliable, and affordable energy supplies available to “citizens and businesses in the EU and its neighborhood,” a clear reference to Ukraine, which borders the European Union to the east.

“The United States and the EU are working jointly towards continued, sufficient, and timely supply of natural gas to the EU from diverse sources across the globe to avoid supply shocks, including those that could result from a further Russian invasion of Ukraine,” the two presidents said.

The United States is already the largest supplier of liquefied natural gas, LNG, to the European Union.

“We are collaborating with governments and market operators on supply of additional volumes of natural gas to Europe from diverse sources across the globe,” they announced. “LNG in the short-term can enhance security of supply while we continue to enable the transition to net zero emissions.”

The European Commission will work for “improved transparency and utilization of LNG terminals in the EU.”

“We intend to work together, in close collaboration with EU Member States, on LNG supplies for security of supply and contingency planning. We will also exchange views on the role of storage in security of supply,” Biden and von der Leyen said.

The two leaders are calling on all major energy producer countries “to join us in ensuring world energy markets are stable and well-supplied.” This work has already started, they said, and it will be advanced at the next meeting of the U.S.-EU Energy Council on February 7.

Featured image: President Joe Biden welcomes European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to the White House, November 10, 2021 (Photo by Roberto Schmidt / EC Audiovisual Services)

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