EU urges countries to significantly reduce natural gas consumption until next year


The European Union has urged member states to reduce natural gas consumption by at least 15% by the spring of 2023.

According to the proposed regulations (pdf), Released on Wednesday, sets the first 15 percent reduction in natural gas usage between August 1, 2022 and March 31, 2023.

At the same time, top EU officials argued that reductions were needed due to Russia’s war in Ukraine. The EU, including many NATO member states, has supported Ukraine in response to conflicts, imposing numerous sanctions on Moscow, including the top Kremlin leaders.

On July 11, Russia shut down the Nord Stream I pipeline, which carries Russian gas to other parts of Europe via the Baltic Sea for maintenance. However, the shutoff has sparked speculation that Moscow could close the project for a much longer period of time.

“Russia is threatening us. Russia uses energy as a weapon. Therefore, in any case, the complete cut-off of Russian gas, whether it is a partial major cut-off of Russian gas. But Europe needs to be ready. I have written Wednesday.

Russia has argued that it is a reliable energy supplier.

Its meaning

Europe is competing to fill gas stores before winter and build buffers in the near future when supply is limited, and EU countries are already facing a decline in Russia’s deliveries. EU officials claim that gas supplies to the block are likely to stop altogether in Russia.

“The recent escalation of Russia’s gas supply turmoil presents a significant risk that a complete and long-term outage of Russia’s gas supply could be realized in a sudden and one-sided way,” said the European Commissioner. The meeting states. Said In a memo about the gas cut proposal. “By taking action now, we can reduce both the risks and costs of Europe in the event of further or complete turmoil.”

Epoch Times Photo
The steam will leave the cooling tower of the Richterfeldegas thermal power plant in Berlin, Germany, on March 30, 2022. (Michael Sohn / AP photo)

If the bill is passed, EU countries will need to update their national plans by September 2022 to include details on reducing gas consumption.For years, EU countries have become dependent on Russia’s gas imports, but some states haveLike Germany— Almost banned the use of nuclear power and tried to use solar, wind and hydropower instead.

German Minister of Economy Robert Habeck, recently Recognized by the Guardian That his country made a “serious political mistake” by relying on Russia’s gas. The country is importing a significant amount of gas through NordStream I and wanted to double that amount with the proposed NordStream II.

The EU’s plan came because Russia’s state-owned energy company Gazprom stated that it could not fulfill its gas contract with the EU due to unforeseen circumstances. The company reportedly sent a letter this week informing some EU customers of the inevitability of gas supply.

Russian President Vladimir Putin also said problems with other pump units could reduce the capacity of Nord Stream 1. One of them will need to be sent for maintenance on July 26th.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Jack phillips


Jack Phillips is the latest news reporter for The Epoch Times, based in New York.