Target Germany if you want to ban gas from Russia, parliament speaker tells climate campaigners – Reuters


European Parliament President Roberta Metsola told climate activists on Monday that they “need to be stronger” and target Germany if they want the EU to ban imports of Russian gas.

“You have to be stronger… [with] heads of government, your prime ministers,” Metsola said in a video seen by POLITICO, as she faced climate activists at a special conference to mark Europe Day in Strasbourg.

Responding to the two activists, both from Poland, after they asked which countries they should focus on, she then said: “All of them, Germany – Germany is number one.”

EU countries are currently haggling over a sixth set of sanctions against Russia, which includes a phased ban on Russian oil imports. But the agreement encountered resistance from countries, including Hungary, when the embargo was introduced.

Metsola said she did not believe Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán would completely block the oil ban. “I don’t think he will,” she told activists.

Once the terms of the oil ban are agreed, the bloc will likely target Russian gas next. But such a move would likely prove an even bigger challenge, given that the EU is much more dependent on Russia for gas – 40% of its overall supply – than coal or oil.

Despite moves to move away from Russian gas, Berlin is unlikely to support a plan to immediately ban gas imports from Moscow and says it aims for a complete phase-out by 2024. Natural gas accounted for slightly more a quarter of Germany’s energy mix in 2020. .

The two climate activists, Dominika Lasota and Wiktoria Jędroszkowiak – activists with the Fridays for Future movement started by Greta Thunberg – said they were not surprised by Metsola’s comments.

“It didn’t surprise me to hear that it was the German government that she nominated,” Lasota said. “From the beginning of our campaign towards the total energy embargo, it was clear that the German government was heavily influenced by industry lobbyists and really got stuck in the technocratic money-driven debate. instead of prioritizing saving people’s lives.”

The German Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to a POLITICO request for comment.

This article is part of POLITICO Pro

Target Germany if you want to ban gas from Russia, parliament speaker tells climate campaigners - Reuters

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