New Delhi, Apr 24 (EFE).- The war in Ukraine has shone a light on Europe’s unsustainable reliance on Russian fossil fuels, the president of the European Commission told a conference Sunday during a visit to India at a time when New Delhi is boosting its energy purchases from Russia.
Ursula von der Leyen told the International Solar Alliance meeting in the Indian capital that Europe’s shift to green energy was not only more environmentally-friendly but was a security decision for Europe in its bid to wean itself off Russian energy.
“There is a second reason why the switch to home-grown clean energies is so important these days. And of course, I am thinking about the war that Russia has unleashed against Ukraine,” she said.
“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 neighbors?”
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sits high on von der Leyen’s agenda during her official two-day trip to the Asian nation, which so far has remained neutral and has increased its purchases of Russian fuel.
India declined to condemn Russia’s invasion at the United Nations general assembly and maintains its ties with Moscow, a leading provider of military material to the nation.
The South Asian nation, which imports 85% of its petrol, has also advocated for its continued purchase of Russian crude oil not to be politicized.
The European Union was at hand to help India move toward green energy, von der Leyen said during her visit.
“India and the European Union are closely aligned in the fight against climate change and, of course, have understood how precious solar energy is. Both India and the European Union have embarked on their way to net-zero,” she said.
The EU has pledged carbon neutrality by 2050, while New Delhi aims to achieve the same by 2070.
In the last two decades, India, a country of 1.35 billion people, has seen its energy consumption rise exponentially amid rapid economic development.
The EU leader is due to meet with India’s foreign minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and prime minister Narendra Modi on Monday.EFE