German vice chancellor to raise energy security on key US visit
Germany’s vice chancellor is traveling to Washington for talks with U.S. officials that will focus on energy security and the need to ramp up renewable energy supplies in the wake of Russia’s attack on Ukraine.
Germany gets a large share of its energy from Russia in the form of coal, oil and gas. The invasion of Ukraine last week was sharply condemned by Berlin, which joined other Western nations in imposing sanctions against Russia and halted the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project.
Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck, who is also Germany’s economy and climate minister, said on Feb. 28 that greater emphasis on energy independence could help efforts to reduce emissions of planet-heating greenhouse gases released by burning
“The only forms of energy that don’t belong to anyone, where nobody can say `it’s all mine and I’m going to blackmail you with,’ are wind and solar,’’ he told reporters.
“What we were discussing a half a year ago in terms of reducing carbon dioxide emissions we’re now discussing in terms of energy security and sovereignty,’’ said Habeck, who is due to meet with U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan and climate envoy John Kerry during his two-day trip.
In a special session of parliament last week, Germany’s finance minister said the government would place greater emphasis on energy security in the coming years in light of the war in Ukraine.
“Renewable energy releases us from dependence,’’ Christian Lindner said. “That’s why renewable energy is freedom energy.’’