Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the United States announced Friday that it will work with international partners to send at least 15 billion cubic meters of liquefied natural gas to Europe this year, aiming to reduce Europe’s reliance on Russian energy exports.
The White House noted in a statement that these extra LNG volumes are projected to grow in the future.
It comes amid growing anxiety that energy-importing countries are continuing to add to President Vladimir Putin’s war fund on a daily basis with oil and gas earnings.
The pact, according to US President Joe Biden, is a “groundbreaking” new endeavor aimed at “improving energy security, economic security, and national security.”
“I realize that eliminating Russian gas will have costs for Europe,” Biden said in Brussels alongside European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. But it’s not only the morally correct thing to do; it’ll also place us on a much more solid strategic foundation.”
“All of this is pushing the European Union and the United States closer together, which is a victory for everyone,” he said.
The United States and the European Union have announced the formation of a cooperative task group to strengthen energy security for Ukraine and the EU in the coming winters.
A representative from the White House and a representative from the European Commission, the EU’s executive branch, will lead the Task Force for Energy Security.
The task force’s main aims, according to the US and EU, would be to diversify LNG supply in line with climate goals and reduce natural gas demand. The proposal will almost certainly need the construction of additional LNG import facilities throughout Europe.
‘More united than ever,’ says Trans-Atlantic Partnership
“The trans-Atlantic cooperation has never been stronger or more united.” And we are adamant about standing up to Russia’s barbaric war. “For Putin, this conflict will be a strategic failure,” Von der Leyen said on Friday.
“Putin is attempting to revert to a bygone era of ruthless use of force, power politics, zones of control, and domestic repression.” She went on to say, “I am convinced he will fail.” “We are collaborating to create a peaceful, wealthy, and long-term future.” And I am confident that we will succeed.”
The EU, according to the White House, will work toward ensuring demand for around 50 billion cubic meters of more U.S. LNG until at least 2030. It goes on to say that this is “compatible with our shared net-zero goals.”
“This will also be done with the awareness that prices should reflect long-term market fundamentals and supply and demand stability,” the United States stated.
Russian energy is a major source of revenue and political influence for the Russian government.
Indeed, Russian pipelines deliver nearly 40% of the EU’s gas, with several of them passing via Ukraine.
Between 2011 and 2020, revenue from Russian oil and gas was estimated to account for about 43% of the Kremlin’s federal budget, demonstrating how important fossil fuels are to the Russian government.
As countries seek to replace Russian energy sources, Russia’s war with Ukraine has coincided with substantial increases in coal, oil, and gas prices.
In the backdrop of the Ukraine crisis, the rush to further expand humanity’s reliance on fossil fuels sparked a grim warning from United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
“Countries may become so preoccupied with the immediate fossil fuel supply shortfall that they ignore or stifle initiatives to reduce fossil fuel use,” Guterres said earlier this week. “And this is insanity: fossil fuel addiction is mutually assured destruction.”