Complaint to the European Ombudsman on oil and gas imports from Russia
Jurisdiction: European Ombudsman
Side A: Deutsche Umwelthilfe (Ngo)
Side A: Notre Affaire A Tous (Ngo)
Side A: Avaaz (Ngo)
Side A: Global Legal Action Network (Ngo)
Core objectives: Whether the European Union has not adequately assessed the human rights and greenhouse emissions implications of its continued Russian oil and gas imports after the Russian invasion of Ukraine and of its current and planned measures to reduce the EU’s energy dependence on Russia.
SummarySince the Russian Federation invaded Ukraine, the European Union has continued to import Russian oil and gas. EU imports constituted 61 percent of Russia’s fossil fuel exports (besides oil and gas also coal) in the first one hundred days of the war. Oil and gas exports are an important part of the Russian economy, the revenues of which make up 45% of Russia’s 2021 budget, according to the International Energy Agency. The imports of Russian oil and gas are governed by Regulation 2015/478 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2015 on common rules for imports. Article 1 of that Regulation states that such oil and gas shall be freely imported into the Union and shall not be subject to any quantitative restrictions. To decrease dependence on Russian oil and gas, the European Union has adopted REPowerEU, a plan to rapidly reduce dependence on Russian fossil fuels and fast forward the green transition. The plan focuses on saving energy, diversifying energy supplies, accelerating the rollout of renewables, and smart investments. The plan has no specific timeframe to achieve its goals but aims to achieve the reduction "as soon as possible" and "well before 2030," 2030 being the target set before the adoption of the plan.
- assess the full range of measures that are both available to the EU – including a full cessation of imports of Russian oil and gas – appropriate to ensure that the EU does not contribute to the ability of Russia to prosecute its war of aggression in Ukraine;
- examine – and consider other authoritative studies which examine – all available means of rapidly reducing reliance on Russian oil and gas within the EU;
- assess the implications for the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions of any measures it considers to reduce reliance on Russian oil and gas;
- assess how a rapid reduction in the EU’s reliance on Russian oil and gas can be achieved in a manner that is most consistent with the imperative of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.