Over 20 energy ministers from across Europe gathered in Warsaw last week (13-14 September) for a conference on energy security during which they discussed readiness for future energy supply shocks and climate-induced events.
During the event, Greece’s Deputy Minister of Environment and Energy Alexandra Sdoukou highlighted the role that projects such as the Greece-Bulgaria Interconnector (IGB), the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) and the LNG terminal in Revithoussa play in ensuring natural gas supply throughout southeastern Europe. She emphasised that the concern lies in the issue of prices rather than the supply of natural gas.
Deputy Minister Sdoukou pointed out that Greece is in a better situation for the upcoming winter compared to the previous year, based on the risk assessment conducted by Greece’s Regulatory Authority for Energy, Waste and Water. Recent simulation of scenarios in the ongoing national Vulnerability Assessment for the upcoming winter did not indicate significant natural gas shortages with serious implications for the country, she added.
In the context of climate adaptation, the concept of energy security gains a new dimension, that of security of the energy system in environmental disasters related to the climate crisis and the need to increase its resilience, the Greek deputy minister said.
Deputy Minister Sdoukou also stressed the need for resources to be redirected toward both fortifying infrastructure against climate-induced natural disasters and providing relief to those affected when such disasters occur. In any case, Greece will “continue ambitiously” with its energy transition efforts and climate change mitigation while placing a stronger emphasis on adaptation measures in the face of an increasingly worsening climate risk.
Speaking more on the energy transition, Bulgaria’s Deputy Energy Minister Krasimir Nenov said that the transition “must be structured, smooth and fair, so that no one is left behind.” According to the deputy minister, gas capacities can be skipped to avoid their locking effect and transition directly to low-emission technologies. “It is important to take into account the specifics of each country in order to make the right decisions,” he also pointed out.
Looking at the north of Europe, Poland’s Climate and Environment Minister Anna Moskwa said that in her view, a just transformation of the energy sector is an important challenge for all of us. “We should support each other in this effort so that together we can achieve the important goals we have set for ourselves,” she said.
“Thanks to the situation over the last year, we have learned a lot about the resilience of our energy system. It was a lesson for every resident of Poland – we all started thinking about how we can save energy and improve energy efficiency in our homes. This knowledge will stay with us forever, Minister Moskwa added. “I feel cautiously optimistic – on the one hand, we are aware of potential threats and risks, and on the other hand, we have identified ways to deal with these obstacles. We know what to do, we just need to keep this pace,” she concluded.
Organised by the Polish Climate and Environment Ministry, the event’s participants also included the European Commission’s Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson, Ukraine’s Minister of Energy German Galushchenko, Lithuania’s Minister of Energy Dainius Kreivys and International Energy Agency’s Deputy Executive Director Mary Burce Warlick.