BRUSSELS - A few months after Russian president Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, five European leaders and the EU Commission signed the Esbjerg Declaration.

Named after the eponymous Danish coastal city, the May 2022 document outlines ambitions to transform the North Sea into the "green power plant of Europe," an offshore renewable energy system connecting Belgium, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands.

However, despite rising demand for clean energy and political enthusiasm, offshore wind projects are being cancelled or delayed thanks to rising costs.

Germany begins dismantling wind farm for coal

German energy giant RWE has begun dismantling a wind farm to make way for a further expansion of an open-pit lignite coal mine in the Western region of North Rhine Westphalia.

One wind turbine has already been dismantled, with a further seven scheduled for removal to excavate an additional 15m to 20m tonnes of so-called 'brown' coal, the most polluting energy source.

Also, the appointment of Dutch foreign minister Wopke Hoekstra as EU climate commissioner has raised eyebrows — given his little experience in green policies and background at Shell.