The European Council gave final approval on Friday to a plan that would see EU countries cut their gas consumption by 15% over the next few months.
The measure aims to increase the bloc’s energy security by saving gas for the coming winter in light of possible disruptions in supplies from Russia, said a press release posted on the European Council’s website.
Member states agreed to reduce their gas consumption between August 1, 2022 and March 31, 2023 by 15% compared to their average level of use over the past five years, the statement said. Countries can use measures of their choice to reduce demand.
The Council has indicated that it reserves the right to trigger a “Union alert” on the security of gas supply, in which case demand reduction would become mandatory.
Certain derogations have been granted to reflect the particular situations of certain Member States, such as those which are not interconnected with the gas networks or the electricity networks of other Member States.
The regulations will now be published in the Official Journal and will come into force the following day, the press release adds.
The EU has seen a reduction in gas supplies from Russia via the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, and it now fears that Moscow could completely shut off the flow.
Russia has repeatedly denied having such plans, saying it remains a reliable supplier but international sanctions prevent gas from flowing at full capacity.
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