27 March 2023

Freedom From Fossil Fuels

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Europe is besieged by multiple crises: energy insecurity, surging cost of living, war on the continent, worsening climate change and destruction of nature and communities. All share a significant contributing factor: the continent’s dependence on fossil fuels.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, most European countries have resolved to end imports of Russian coal, gas, and oil. However, despite a European Union (EU) embargo on its Russian coal imports, and its fossil gas imports being substantially curtailed, European countries are still buying fossil gas and oil from Russia in 2023, and many of the energy measures put in place in the last year have been short-term, unsustainable or emergency in nature.

This meta-analysis builds upon a wide range of studies and research published since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to show that the transition towards a coal exit in Europe by 2030 and a fossil-free power sector by 2035, requires to remove a third of Europe’s fossil gas and hard coal demand by 2025. This is equivalent to the levels of imports from Russia before the war. We present an ambitious but very achievable package of measures across three action areas for implementation by the end of 2025. These comprise the deployment of solar photovoltaic (PV), wind power and heat pumps, building and industry efficiency, as well as measures for lower and smarter consumption of heat and electricity.

Made with Flourish
The set of measures we propose would displace 107% of Russian gas and coal imports to Europe (104% in the EU-27) to ensure that enough coal and gas demand will be certainly removed from the energy system, but also enough power and heat will for sure be available through the structural measures we propose to heat our homes and run the European economy.

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