LEAK: EU drafts plan to ditch Russian gas

(EurActiv, 2 Mar 2022) Europe needs to build up its renewable energy capacity and diversify its gas supply to end its dependency on Russian gas, according to a leaked draft of the EU’s communication on energy prices seen by EURACTIV.

Europe is in the throes of an energy crisis, mostly driven by high gas prices. The outbreak of war in Ukraine has only worsened this, highlighting Europe’s reliance on imports for 90% of its gas, 40% of which Russia controls.

“This dependency has aggravated the current situation of high energy prices, which continues to impact European households and businesses,” the leak said.

The communication, originally due to be published on Wednesday (2 March), was meant to look at alleviating the impact of continued high energy prices in Europe and how to prevent this in the future.

However, the Russian invasion of Ukraine meant the European Commission had to delay and redraft the communication. It is now expected next week and a leaked draft shows the perspective has shifted to decreasing Europe’s energy dependency on Russia.

“With the EU gas storages at historically low levels and security of supply concerns linked to low debit in the gas pipelines from the East, we witness a growing gas crisis. The EU remains highly dependent on energy imports for power generation and heating,” the draft warns.

It follows European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen calling for an acceleration of the green transition during a meeting between the European Union and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Tuesday.

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EurActiv, 2 Mar 2022: LEAK: EU drafts plan to ditch Russian gas