REpowerEU is the EUʼs flagship strategy to reduce Europeʼs energy dependance on Russia, planned for publication on the 18th of May. The strategy provides the perfect opportunity for the EU to not only wean itself off Russia energy but to also cut the fossil fuel umbilical cord by slashing demand for fossil energy. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has highlighted the Blocʼs dependence on fossil fuels from countries with a high geopolitical instability index and the risk that this poses to the EUʼs energy security. Simply shifting fossil fuel supply from one autocratic regime to another will do little to fix the problem. Only a rapid reduction in fossil fuel demand and move to clean, secure renewable energy sources will secure the EUʼs energy future and allow the EU to reach its climate goals.
Transport has a defining role to play in Europeʼs oil dependency. The oil consumed in transport – that is the fuel consumed by cars, vans, trucks, airplanes, and ships – makes up two thirds of total EU oil consumption. Road transport in particular consumes 50% of all of the EUʼs oil. To reduce the EUʼs oil consumption it is critical to slash transportʼs oil demand in the short, medium and long term. To achieve this the Commission must present concrete plans for reducing transportʼs oil demand in the REpowerEU strategy. This paper outlines the most important strategic objectives and policy recommendations which need to be included within REpowerEU to set the EU transport on a swift trajectory away from oil.