The EU must promote sustainable energy – not gas dependence – in the Western Balkans
Open letter | 5 April 2022
The European Commission has in recent years increasingly promoted gas as a transition fuel in the Western Balkans, yet this region currently has relatively low gas dependency and some of the countries have no gas infrastructure at all. Building new infrastructure would therefore lead to a new fossil fuel lock-in and crowd out decarbonisation initiatives. Most of the gas would come from Azerbaijan, where the Shah Deniz gas project is currently 20 per cent owned by Russia’s Lukoil, and would therefore support authoritarian regimes.
This joint letter to President von der Leyen by 36 civil society organisations working in the region therefore asks the European Commission to stop promoting fossil gas and instead to pay attention to much-needed but currently neglected initiatives on energy efficiency and sustainable forms of renewable energy.