European Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans said a short-term return to fossil fuels is needed to prevent the risk of civil unrest. Europe is in danger of suffering great damage in the winter due to very strong conflicts and strife over high energy prices, the senior EU official warned.
Frans Timmermans, the first and executive vice-president of the European Commission, said in an interview with the Guardian that the European Union should turn to fossil fuels again in the short term due to the crisis caused by the war in Ukraine to prevent the risk of civil unrest.
Timmermans, who is in charge of the European Green Deal and leads the 27-member bloc in international climate negotiations, insists a short-term return to fossil fuels is compatible with limiting the rise in the global temperature from pre-industrial levels to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
“If our society descends into very, very strong conflict and strife because there is no energy, we’re certainly not going to make our [climate] goals. We’re certainly not going to get where we need to get if the lack of energy leads to strong disruption in our societies, and we need to make sure people are not in the cold in the coming winter,” said the executive vice-president of the European Commission.
Energy takes priority over the climate crisis
The danger of unrest next winter must take precedence over the climate crisis, Timmermans said, adding his goal is to reassure the public in the EU by November 1 at the latest that the crisis would not affect heating homes.
The danger of unrest next winter must take precedence over the climate crisis
“If we were just to say no more coal right now, we wouldn’t be very convincing in some of our member states and we would contribute to tensions within our society getting even higher,” Timmermans said.