Tony Blair: “We should have started energy transition in 2014”

The former Prime Minister has said countries are still paying large sums of money for Russian oil and gas

Net Hero Podcast

Efforts to pull away from Russian energy should have started after Crimea was annexed in 2014, Tony Blair has said.

In an interview with the New York Times, the former Prime Minister said: “Energy transition in Europe is going to be very real, it’s very urgent, we should have done it after Crimea (February and March 2014).

“I remember at the time I was having conversations with people in the Obama administration about it.

“I think there was a desire to do this, but this happens in politics, things moved on and we didn’t, but the reason why we have now one of the problems that we have in fighting this aggression is the dependence of Europe on gas and the fact that we are still paying a large amount of money to Russia every day in return for their gas and their oil.”

He said many countries would feel the pain of this transition as they are still heavily dependent on Russian oil and gas.

Mr Blair said: “For a country like Germany, for example, over 40% of its gas comes from Russia. Europe is taking strong action and a lot of these European countries, some of them are more than 50% dependent on Russian energy.

“So, they’re moving from that and seeking new markets at an incredible speed and with a certain amount of internal economic pain but it will be one of the things that for sure continues.”

Last week, ELN reported that the amount of Russian gas imported to the UK soared by 37% last year.

It is estimated that in 2021, imports of gas, oil and coal from Russia to the UK were worth a combined £4.5 billion.