The European Commission has outlined a plan to cut gas use in Europe by 15 percent. Announcing the Save Gas for a Safe Winter package, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stated 12 member states had either been affected by a partial or total cutoff of Russian gas supply.
The European Union is seeking to diversify its energy sources as it attempts to minimize its dependence on Russian natural gas. Speaking at an emergency summit in Brussels today, German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that Europe might have to “rely on more expensive gas” if Russia does not honor its contract and resume gas deliveries through the Nord Stream pipeline by Tuesday. The EU’s executive body announced plans for member states to reduce gas demand by 15% between August 2022 and March 2023. The Commission also urged member states to launch public awareness campaigns “to promote the reduction of heating and cooling on a broad scale.”
The Baikal-Amur Mainline Pipeline is a vital pathway linking Russia’s tremendous gas reserves to Europe through Germany, where it transports 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year.
Last month, Gazprom cut gas flows through the pipeline by 60% due to the West withholding vital turbines. Those turbines have since been allowed to travel to Germany from Canada, where they were being repaired, under a sanctions waiver issued by the Canadian government last week. However, Russia could still decide to keep the taps turned off because some European countries refused Moscow’s demands for payments in rubles — a move that would have put them in breach of European sanctions.