Germany signs gas deal with Qatar

According to the government of Qatar, Germany has signed a gas export deal with the state-owned enterprise Qatar Energy. Under the agreement, up to two million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) per year will be supplied supplied to Germany for 15 years as of 2026. Commentators criticise that the deal runs counter to the current debates about climate protection and holding the World Cup in Qatar.

Open/close all quotes
Zeit Online (DE) /

Yes to climate protection, but tommorrow, not today

Zeit Online is nonplussed:

“The deal is valid for 15 years and thus binds Germany to an energy source that is destroying the world's climate until 2041 - far too long. Germany is perpetuating the fossil dependency that has left it facing the current energy crisis and humanity the impending crisis of the century. Yet Germany must be climate-neutral by 2045. This is not the demand of some activists but is written in the law. ... Buying gas until shortly before the end and then getting out very quickly - this energy policy is like a smoker who goes to the kiosk and buys not one, but two packs, telling himself: 'I'll just smoke these and then quit next week! Unfortunately, this rarely works.”

Berliner Zeitung (DE) /

Berlin sticking to symbolic politics

Germany has long since lost its credibility, writes the Berliner Zeitung:

“It's a little embarrassing when on the one hand German politicians present themselves with rainbow armbands in Qatar but on the other hand we finance the country's absolutist monarchy with long-term fossil fuel deals. Is the rest of the world supposed to think that Germany is only interested in symbolic politics with rainbow flags? That we are only interested in the rights of homosexuals and women if we don't profit from those who disregard them? Perhaps everyone is right to think that, and we have long since reached that point.”

Neue Zürcher Zeitung (CH) /

Either One Love or energy security - not both

Germany should simply stick to realpolitik, writes the Neue Zürcher Zeitung:

“'Human rights can't be that important to you, otherwise you wouldn't stock up on our gas for 15 years.' That's the message behind the deal. And the Qataris aren't wrong there. You have to decide between commitment to minority rights and realpolitik: One Love or energy security - you can't have both. So the deal could also be the occasion for a reorientation of Germany's sometimes bigoted foreign policy. ... When symbols and maximum demands remain inconsequential, dictators recognise the noble words of German politicians for what they often are: empty talk that can be safely ignored.”

NRC Handelsblad (NL) /

Doha got it right

2022 was an extremely successful year for Qatar, NRC Handelsblad columnist Luuk van Middelaar notes:

“The country has forever linked its name to the world's most popular sport and is thus a little safer once more. ... Lodged between the regional powers Saudi Arabia and Iran, Qatar cannot be without protectors. Investment in football is a fast track to glamour and powerful friends. ... Qatar is also doing good business undisturbed in other areas. ... Four years ago the football world came together in Russia. Afterwards we were able to refer to it as the Gazprom World Cup. This year, in the middle of the war against Ukraine, we are playing in the LNG World Cup.”