‘Worst yet to come’ for EU states on energy – Qatar
A warm winter has prevented the EU from a severe energy crisis but the "worst is yet to come" for the bloc, Qatari Energy Minister Saad Al-Kaabi warned on Tuesday, citing a lack of investment in oil and gas.
Speaking at the Qatar Economic Forum in Doha he claimed that an "aggressive" energy transition will discourage investment in hydrocarbons and could result in energy shortages in the EU over the coming decade.
"There's going to be a big shortage of gas in the future, predominantly because of the energy-transition push that we'd say is very aggressive," Al-Kaabi warned. "Economic stability and environmental responsibility are not mutually exclusive. You have to have both."
The EU has been struggling with an unprecedented energy crisis following a drop in oil and gas shipments from Russia. The sanctions that the bloc has imposed on Russian energy imports have resulted in record high inflation and an overall cost of living crisis across the EU.
"The only thing that saved humanity and Europe this year was a warm winter and the slowdown in the economy," AL-Kaabi said, adding that "if the economy starts churning back up in (2024) and you have just a regular winter, I think the worst is yet to come."
He also urged EU officials to stop "demonizing" fossil fuels.
"If [European leaders have] a proper plan and sit down with producers, and oil and gas companies are not demonized, reality will kick in and we will have a sensible solution," he said.
Qatar is one of the world's biggest producers of liquefied natural gas, and is investing tens of billions of dollars on boosting its production capacity.
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