Policy Brief Turning to Algeria to replace Russian gas


Europe is grappling to respond adequately to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. But the EU’s urgent wish to free itself from Russian fossil fuels should not result in too-hasty friendships with alternative fossil fuel suppliers. We argue that any EU or member state plans to import more gas from Algeria to replace Russian energy sources is the wrong course of action for three reasons. First, Algeria is also an authoritarian state, like Russia, that uses gas exports as a political weapon. Second, Algeria is a loyal friend and ally of Russia. And, third, EU demands for more gas threaten to delay both the EU’s and Algeria’s own green energy transition. Relying on Algerian gas would be incoherent with the broader EU aims to promote democratic values and to implement the (external dimension of the) European Green Deal. The real answer to replacing fossil fuels from Russia must be to accelerate the energy transition away from fossil fuels altogether, and emphasising the transition to a decarbonised energy sector as the heart of the EU’s response. 

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