The European Union (EU) organized emergency plans for countries to reduce gas consumption by 15% until spring. The union’s command for a heavy drop in the fuel comes amidst Russia-Ukraine’s conflict.
The EU, according to the plan, aims to save up gas before winter to avoid any shock if Russia cut down the fuel supply in response to Europe’s endorsement of Ukraine.
Russia has already reduced gas supplies to several countries in Europe and EU officials believe that Russia might entirely put an end to gas deliveries.
On Wednesday, European commissioners invited all EU countries to decrease the fuel by 15% from August to March, versus the average use over the same period from 2016 to 2021.
This reduction would save Europe almost 45 billion cubic meters of the fuel within the months of August to March. Europe’s pre-war supply from Russia was 40%, accounting for about 155 billion cubic meters of natural gas (bcm) each year.
The voluntary target will get mandatory if there is an announcement by the EU over the serious gas shortage. Thereby, most EU countries have to accept the regulation. On that account, EU diplomats will address the issue this Friday.
According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), a drop in gas flow from Russia could lead to stagnation in Europe’s economy.
Europe has to be prepared if there is a partial or total reduction of gas deliveries from Russia, stated Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission.This is while some European countries, including Poland and Hungary, have opposed to the emergency plan. It is necessary for the countries to consider a plan update by the end of September and declare what they will do to achieve the target.
European governments are recommended to take several actions to reduce gas consumption; accordingly, those industries that reduce their use of the fuel will be compensated through auctions. Also, it will be the same for public buildings that restrict heating and cooling temperatures.
They should determine the order based on which they would compel industries to shot down when there is a supply emergency. Households’ consumption would not be affected by the EU rules, however.
Russian Nord Stream 1 pipeline will resume gas supplies to Germany as of Thursday.