Samizdat – 09.07.2022
The controversial EU green transition plan, also known as Fit for 55, which was designed to reduce the bloc’s greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030, is unfeasible unless sanctions against Russia are lifted, a EU lawmaker from the Freedom Party of Austria, Roman Haider, told Sputnik.
“They don’t know how to save their unrealistic and dangerous Fit for 55 strategy without canceling the sanctions against Russia,” Haider said.
On Wednesday, the European Parliament backed EU regulations designating nuclear and gas energy as environmentally sustainable economic activities, saying that private investment in gas and nuclear projects may play a role in the green transition process.
This decision by the European Parliament signaled that EU governments are facing a stark reality, recognizing that more time and more realistic goals are required to transform the energy infrastructure in Europe, Haider said. Meanwhile, the Freedom Party of Austria has repeatedly raised the issue of impractical goals set as benchmarks for the EU and warned of grave consequences for the European and Austrian economy should the Fit for 55 plan be fully implemented, he noted.
“This package is a massive threat to businesses in Europe. It makes Europe even more dependent on imports and drives the price spiral further upwards. It destroys jobs, promotes the impoverishment of Europeans and is massively harmful to the environment. In short, Fit for 55 is a serious threat to Europe,” Haider warned.
Haider stressed that to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040 and meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement, Austria would have to cut emissions by 95% over the next 18 years, as a recent study shows that the country’s CO2 emissions in 2021 reached 1990 levels.
At the same time, the reality of the current energy market volatility has forced some EU countries, including Austria, to consider resuming the use of coal, which is the dirtiest fossil fuel, Haider added.
Austria’s state-owned Verbund AG was recently ordered to prepare the mothballed Mellach coal-fired power plant for emergency operation. It comes just two years after Austria became the second European country to completely eliminate coal from its energy production system.