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Poland against EU plans to cut gas use: climate minister

Commenting on the European Commission’s proposal that the 27 EU member states cut their gas use by 15 percent from August 1, Polish Climate Minister Anna Moskwa has said that “member countries cannot approve mandatory gas consumption cuts in a situation when they do not know what the coming winter will look like and when their interests are not secured.”

Poland opposes the European Commission’s (EC) proposal for a mandatory curb on gas consumption in the EU amid a looming energy crisis, the official stressed.

“It is very difficult to discuss the mechanisms, which the EC has prepared over a few days and in a rush, and which force obligatory gas use cuts on member countries,” Minister Moskwa said on Monday.

She said that Greece, Portugal, Spain, Cyprus and Malta are also against the obligatory gas consumption cuts.

The European Commission proposed on July 20 that the 27 EU member states each cut their gas use by 15 percent from August 1, 2022, to March 31, 2023. The proposal is aimed at preventing an energy crisis during winter. The target would be voluntary, but the Commission could make it binding in a gas supply emergency.

Brussels also urged countries to curb gas use now to help fill storage ahead of winter, and warned that a full cut-off of Russian gas was likely.

Latest Russian gas cuts ‘politically motivated’

Russian gas giant Gazprom’s announcement that it will further slash deliveries to Europe this week is politically motivated, Kadri Simson, the European Union energy policy chief, said on Tuesday. She refuted the company’s claim that it had cut supply because it needed to halt the operation of a turbine.

We know that there is no technical reason to do so. This is a politically motivated step, and we have to be ready for that. And exactly for that reason, the pre-emptive reduction of our gas demand is a wise strategy,” Simson said on her arrival to a meeting of EU countries’ energy ministers in Brussels.

Ms Simson hoped the ministers to reach a deal on emergency EU rules requiring countries to curb their gas demand.

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