The European Commission has presented a new emergency package aimed at combating the sharp increase in gas prices.
The package was published ahead of the energy summit on Thursday and Friday this week.
The Greens/EFA Group says it welcomes the Commission’s proposal for a joint gas purchase tool, but it’s uncertain if this will be enough to reduce gas import prices.
Through the main European gas exchange (TTF), the proposed temporary dynamic price cap on gas imports can function to limit very high prices.
However, these measures should not lead to an overall increase in consumption of gas, limit further expansion of renewables nor undermine the security of supply, the Greens say. The Greens/EFA Group also calls for an EU solidarity fund, the expansion of the windfall tax to all sectors profiting from the war in Ukraine and the energy crisis, massive investments in renewable energies, an immediate embargo on imports of fossil fuels and uranium from Russia and further measures to save energy and improve energy efficiency in order to mitigate the rising energy costs.
Ville Niinistö MEP, Greens/EFA coordinator of the Industry, Research and Energy Committee and member of the Environment Committee, comments: “The Greens/EFA Group welcomes the possibilities for joint gas purchases proposed by the Commission, but this is only a first necessary step needed to bring the energy prices down. Now it is up to the EU Member States to unite Europe and jointly work on hastening the exit from dependency on imported fossil fuels and especially gas. We can still do more to reduce gas demand and increase energy savings this winter. We need to invest massively in renewables and energy efficiency. The Greens/EFA call for broad energy savings to help reduce gas demand and solidarity in the expansion of renewables and sustainable energy infrastructure.”
Ernest Urtasun MEP, Greens/EFA coordinator of the Economic and Monetary Affairs committee, commented, “It is deplorable that multinational companies have profited from the consequences of the war on Ukraine and market speculation, all while citizens suffer. A European windfall tax and the creation of a new European fund to support households and accelerate energy transition is crucial. It’s time that the excess profits made by the biggest polluters and the richest go towards building a more just society and greener economy instead of their already stuffed pockets.”