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Ukraine War Reminder That Dependency On Russian Fuels Unsustainable: EU

The European Commission President said the energy policy has become the security policy as well

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European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Sunday said Russia's war in Ukraine was a stark reminder that the dependency on Russian fossil fuels is not sustainable, and she pitched for a deeper cooperation between India and the EU to expand the use of clean energy.

On the first day of her two-day visit to India, von der Leyen went to the TERI Gram campus in Haryana and addressed an event at the headquarters of the International Solar Alliance (ISA).

In her address at the ISA, she talked about the need for sustainable ways of doing business using clean energy and also emphasised the need for switching to "home-grown clean energies" in the wake of the Russian aggression against Ukraine.

The European Commission President said the energy policy has become the security policy as well.

"For us, Europeans, it is a stark reminder that our dependency on Russian fossil fuels is not sustainable. Because how can you do business with someone, who openly threatens Europe and wages war against one of your closest neighbours," she asked.

"So our transition to homegrown renewable energy is not only good for the environment, but it also becomes a strategic investment in security. Energy policy is also security policy," von der Leyen said.

She said the European Commission will present next month a new strategy for solar energy.

"Because every kilowatt-hour of electricity we generate from solar, wind, hydropower or biomass reduces our dependency on fossil fuels in general. This is why the European Commission will present next month a new solar strategy of the European Union, as part of REPowerEU," von der Leyen said.

The top European official said India and the European Union are on the same paths on clean energy.

"Prime Minister Modi has announced that India should be energy independent before it celebrates 100 years of its independence as a country. This would be in 2047. So it is in our common interest that this independence of fossil fuel that comes from abroad is a transformation into renewable and clean energy," she said.

The European Commission President said the energy use doubled in India in the last two decades, and it will continue to grow.

"I want to say that this is, first and foremost, good news because it shows that India's economy is doing well -- with all the benefits that it brings to citizens all across the wonderful and vibrant country you have here," von der Leyen said.

"So it is good news. But it also, of course, shows the urgency for our transformation to clean and sustainable ways of doing business and using that energy. Because we all know that this additional energy that you will need has to be clean, has to be green," she added.

Von der Leyen said determination and political will was required to achieve clean energy targets.

"We can do it, there are options, you touched on many of them. But it needs an enormous amount of determination on the political part, of investment on the public and the private side," she said.

The European Commission President said there was a need to step up efforts in the energy transformation process.

She also elaborated on the EU-India Clean Energy and Climate Partnership that was adopted in 2016.

"As you know, we discuss a large variety of important issues there, be it smart grids or storage, the clean energy financing or our cooperation on green hydrogen -- a big topic for Europe," she said.

"But my visit also shows me and all the discussions that we have that there is so much untapped potential. So we can do so much together to improve the situation. We need to step up our cooperation. We can learn from each other how to finance, promote and deploy solar energy," she added.


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