COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Germany’s Foreign Minister said Friday that estimates show the Baltic Sea can produce “more than double the installed capacity of all German coal-fired power plants” as the country strives respond climate change goals and wean itself off the energy provided by Russia.
In a video message ahead of a meeting in the Danish capital, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said Germany wanted to accelerate the expansion of wind power produced in the Baltic Sea.
The countries bordering the Baltic Sea “must set sail, work together and set their sights on achieving our region more sustainablemore resilient and safer,” Baerbock said.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholtz has said Germany remains committed to ending its greenhouse gas emissions by 2045, the first of any major industrialized nation. To achieve this goal, his government has said it will shut down coal-fired power plants that were reactivated during the war in Ukraine, end imports of Russian oil and coal this year and aim to stop using Russian gas. in the next two years.
The potential of the Baltic Sea “is huge”, Baerbock said. “The European Commission estimates that the Baltic Sea could potentially produce more than 90 gigawatts of wind energy. This is more than double the installed capacity of all German coal power plants.
“Wind power from the Baltic Sea will help us fight the climate crisis. And it is an investment in our security: it will help make us less dependent on Russian gas,” Baerbock said.
On July 1, Germany assumed the presidency of the Council of Baltic Sea States for one year. The intergovernmental forum for regional cooperation consists of the European Union and 10 member countries: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland and Sweden.
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the council suspended Russia from its activities. Moscow later said it had decided to step down from the council, saying the organization was turning into “an anti-Russian tool”.
Denmark is due to hold a meeting next week on the Baltic Sea island of Bornholm to discuss ways “to liberate the Baltic Sea region from Russian energy and at the same time pave the way for a meaningful green transition”, according to the Danish government. .
Among those expected are the President of the Executive Board of the European Union, the Lithuanian President, the Polish, Latvian, Estonian, Finnish and Danish Prime Ministers, as well as several energy ministers.
Frank Jordans in Berlin contributed to this report.
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