The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has made a commitment that an emergency plan will be drawn up this month to help member states cope without Russian energy after the end of the war in Ukraine, writes BGNES.
Von der Leyen said the initiative would build on EU moves to phase out Russian coal, oil and natural gas and complement bloc-wide efforts to accelerate the development of renewable energy such as wind and solar power.
“We are preparing emergency plans for Europe,” von der Leyen said in the Czech city of Litomysl, where he marked the start of the six-month rotating presidency of the EU. “Energy prices are high. People – rightly – expect us to do something about it.”
She said the contingency plan, due around mid-July, would focus on two key issues: getting a clear picture of where to cut Russian energy supplies and doing it. in a smart way’, as well as to join the efforts of EU countries facing supply difficulties.
“We need a good, general plan, according to which energy or gas goes where it is most needed,” Von der Leyen said.
She said the plan would be developed in coordination with the Czech government, whose prime minister highlighted political pressure across the EU to act.
“Energy prices are suffocating our economy,” said Prime Minister Peter Fiala, who said the issue would be our biggest test in the coming months.
In May, the EC announced a plan called REPowerEU to divest from Russian energy amid the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine, proposing a nearly €300 billion package that includes more efficient use of fuels and a faster roll-out of renewable energy.
“The next step is to provide EU Member States with the €300 billion that comes with REPowerEU, and so of course we count on your Presidency to reach a swift agreement on the adoption of the REPowerEU Regulation,” Von der Leyen said on the Czech Prime Minister.
This investment initiative aims to help the 27 EU countries begin to wean themselves off Russian fossil fuels this year. The aim is to deprive Russia, the EU’s main supplier of oil, natural gas and coal, of tens of billions in revenue and strengthen the EU’s climate policies.