Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and Economics Minister Robert Habeck (both Green) want the energy crisis caused by the Russian war in Ukraine to be turned into a boost for the expansion of renewable energies.

Baerbock left no doubt on Tuesday that she wanted to achieve a "gradual de facto complete embargo, especially for Russian oil";

deliveries of Russian hard coal have already been halved.

At the opening of an energy transition conference organized by the Federal Foreign Office and the Ministry of Economic Affairs in Berlin together with international participants from politics, business and science, the Foreign Minister said that Germany wanted "the national complete phase-out of fossil energy supplies from Russia".

Johannes Leithauser

Political correspondent in Berlin.

  • Follow I follow

Habeck said the Berlin conference, which had been planned as an expression of "new beginnings and hope", is now taking place "in the context of war and crisis".

It shows the close interweaving of foreign and climate protection policy, this federal government wants to do both "from the same mold".

Both Baerbock and Habeck conjured up past mistakes.

Baerbock said that Germany and Europe "must become completely independent" of fossil Russian energy supplies had actually been clear since 2014, since the Russian annexation of Crimea.

"But we didn't tackle it, it's now taking its revenge in a bitter way," said Baerbock.

Habeck: Germany can cope with the consequences of an embargo

Habeck added, "we see the mistakes of the past".

Germany has become “greatly dependent”.

It is now clear that "energy policy is always power, interest and thus security policy".

The Germans "should have known that it's stupid to put all your cards on one country and then on this one".

The Economics Minister saw the consequences of a Russian energy embargo for Germany as manageable;

for the world, however, they could be fatal.

He said Germany and Europe is a rich region whose economies are now poised to weather the prospect of energy shortages and price increases.

That doesn't apply to everyone.

It could be "that the necessary renunciation in order to get in the arm of Putin will initially cause shortages in the world," said Habeck.

It is important to be careful "that we do not make our energy policy change at the expense of third parties".

The consequences of the war would also affect other sectors, such as food due to an impending shortage of fertilizers and falling wheat exports.

All of these factors result in a new, strong and immediate pressure to act to expand renewable energies.

And in the end, Habeck also gained another advantage in terms of security policy from wind, sun and hydrogen.

He stated that fossil fuels "always tended to create monopolies, economically and politically."

Renewable energies, on the other hand, could be generated and used more widely, with greater social participation.

Habeck said, "You can't steal the wind".

Keywords: