Through the green transition, Europe can wrestle the energy weapon out of Putin’s hands

Europa building

The entrance of the Europa building, Brussels, Belgium, where European leaders gather for European Council meetings. Copyright: European Union

A faster shift to a greener future – this is the best defence against Russia’s weaponisation of fossil fuel supplies. Combined with action to protect vulnerable citizens from rising prices and economic uncertainty, this progressive approach must be adopted by the European Council today.

PES President Stefan Löfven said:

“We need an EU solution to lower energy bills for people and businesses, not least small business. Through cheap, fossil-free energy, we can wrestle the energy weapon out of Putin’s hand. That is the win-win situation that social democrats are pushing for.

“The current challenges around energy are accelerating the changes that we must make anyway, to shape a fossil-fuel free society and reach carbon neutrality. Thanks to Frans Timmermans, we have a clear EU plan and high ambitions. His European Green Deal, with its strong social dimension, is our priority.

“So our citizens can manage the winter ahead, the PES is calling for a European Pact for Affordable Energy and Social Cohesion. It is urgently needed. We can leave no one behind.”

The Party of European Socialists (PES) calls on the European Union to immediately alleviate the impact of high prices on citizens, use the collective strength of the EU to enhance cooperation with reliable energy partners around the globe and progress joint purchasing of energy, and work at home to reduce energy demand, increase renewable generation and recover windfall profits from energy companies.

The PES reiterates its condemnation of Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine, which is killing innocent people, threatening global peace and security, and creating economic and energy uncertainty for people in Europe and around the world. The PES calls on the European Union, together with international partners, to provide all necessary support to Ukraine, both in the current phase of the war, and as it works to rebuild.

European socialists and democrats continue to stand in full solidarity with Ukraine and – in line with the ruling of the UN International Court of Justice – demand that Russia immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraws from Ukraine. The growing evidence of war crimes committed against Ukrainians must be investigated fully, and those responsible must be held accountable.

In line with recommendations made by PES ministers, the PES urges coordinated EU action to address the great challenges for agricultural production and producers. Tackling rising energy costs and fertiliser prices will support food security for Europe.

Further, the PES urges the EU to take up its role as a global leader in the upcoming 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Sharm El-Sheikh (COP27) in November, and the EU-ASEAN Commemorative Summit in December. Working with international partners, the EU must fulfil its mission as an actor for climate protection, peace, democracy and human rights for all.