The United States promises to increase LNG exports to Europe
US President Joe Biden has agreed to a “historic”, as he has been dubbed in the Western media, agreement with the European Union on energy supplies, under which the US will increase transatlantic gas supplies in hopes of weakening Russia’s influence over its natural resources.
Speaking in Brussels after the deal was agreed on Friday, the US president said Russia was using its status as Europe’s main gas supplier to “coerce and manipulate its neighbors” and that revenues from gas and oil sales were driving it a military machine. “
According to The Guardian, Joe Biden said that the United States’ partnership with the EU would “end Europe’s dependence on Russian energy by the end of the decade.”
The proposals also aim to reduce gas consumption in Europe as a whole by focusing on energy efficiency and renewable energy sources to achieve climate goals.
Last year, Russia supplied about 155 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe, which is usually about 40% of the continent’s needs, reminds The Guardian.
The European Union has already said it hopes to cut Russian imports by two-thirds by the end of the year through imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from other countries and the promotion of renewable energy projects and energy efficiency measures.
According to the agreement reached with the European Union with Biden, the United States will provide assistance in the short term by supplying Europe with increased LNG supplies, and this year 15 billion cubic meters will be added.
This means supplies of 37 billion cubic meters, while Europe has committed to additional imports of 50 billion cubic meters per year under a plan to cut off Russian gas supplies by the end of the decade.
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, said: “This volume is already replacing one third of Russian gas going to Europe today. So now we are on the path to diversification from Russian gas to our friends and partners, reliable and trustworthy suppliers. “
At the same time, the EU will try not to deviate from climate goals by supplying gas infrastructure with clean energy and reducing methane leaks, which could exacerbate global warming, according to The Guardian. The combination of energy savings in homes and wind and solar projects could reduce gas demand in Europe by 20 billion cubic meters.
Biden said the move was not only “morally correct” but also “put us on a stronger strategic footing”. Asked how the United States would increase its LNG supplies, given that producers are already working at full capacity, a senior White House official said the plan would include “exchanges” with international partners, especially in Asia, to release gas in Europe in the winter.
The initiative will require Europe to build new terminals for LNG imports, and existing infrastructure is unable to cope with significant imports, according to The Guardian. Germany, Europe’s largest economy, has no LNG terminals, but said on Friday it intends to end its dependence on Russian gas by 2024.
“We want to reduce this dependence on Russian fossil fuels and get rid of it,” said Ursula von der Leyen.