The EU is putting together a “European Emergency Plan” which will be used should Russia cut off gas supply entirely, the president of the European Commission, Ursual von der Leyen has said.
EU News Radio has reported that speaking during a debate this morning (Wednesday, July 6), von der Leyen said that 12 member states are already receiving less gas than expected.
She warned that if this pattern worsens, supplies may have to be rationed to priority locations. She said:
“We need to make sure that in case of full disruption, the gas flows towards where it’s needed the most.”
The president said that while the development of contingency plans in individual member states is positive, it is vital that the EU co-operates and takes common action.
“We have to provide for EU solidarity and we need to protect the single market as well as industry supply chains,” she added.
Reflecting on actions taken during the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic, von der Leyen said member states must not make the same mistakes. She outlined that actions taken such as protectionism, closed borders and export bans led to disunity and fragmentation.
She reiterated that with unity and cooperation, this can be avoided.
“Let’s keep these principles in mind, as always; let’s hope for the best, but prepare for the worst,” she concluded.
Vote on gas today
Meanwhile, a vote is set to take place today on the EU’s plan to designate gas and nuclear power as ‘transition fuels’.
Changing these to this status would make the fossil and nuclear fuels eligible for new investment.
Speaking during a debate yesterday (July 5), European Commissioner Mairead McGuinness defended the plans and said that she stood by them, stating that the transition will help member states to make the move to cleaner energy. She said:
“Gas is a fossil fuel. It is not green. But some members states moving from dirty fossil fuel may need gas in transition, and that is where we have placed gas in this taxonomy.
“Nuclear, low carbon is part of our energy mix in transition too and that is why it is in the transition category of the taxonomy.”