News / Europe

    EU Leaders to Urge Greater Effort to Cut Gas Imports

    FILE - A set of pipes in a gas storage and transit point in Boyarka, just outside Kiev, Ukraine - the main conduit for Russia’s natural gas exports to Europe.
    FILE - A set of pipes in a gas storage and transit point in Boyarka, just outside Kiev, Ukraine - the main conduit for Russia’s natural gas exports to Europe.
    Reuters
    European Union leaders will call for greater efforts to cut reliance on imported gas at a Brussels summit next week, a draft document shows, underlining their concern about strained relations with dominant energy supplier Russia over Ukraine.
     
    Ukraine is a transit route for shipping Russian gas to the EU, which relies on Russia for about a third of its supplies.
     
    Past supply disruption because of pricing disputes between Moscow and Kiev had already motivated EU leaders to seek alternatives to Russian gas, but Russia's seizure of Ukraine's Crimea region has increased the EU's focus on diversifying.
     
    “The European Council is concerned about Europe's high energy dependency rates, especially on gas, and calls for intensifying efforts to reduce them, especially in the most dependent member states,” said a draft document prepared for the summit of EU leaders in Brussels on March 20-21.
     
    Some nations, such as Bulgaria, are almost entirely dependent on Russian energy.
     
    “Europe needs to further diversify its energy supply, continue to develop renewable and other indigenous energy sources and coordinate the development of the infrastructure to support this diversification,” the document seen by Reuters said.
     
    The wording on energy dependency was not in an earlier version of the document circulated before Russian forces seized Crimea.
     
    Britain and Poland have been urging shale gas development or nuclear to lessen dependence on imported fossil fuels.
     
    Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard says the crisis in Ukraine underlines the argument for renewable energy and Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger is pushing for completion of the single energy market to maximize available energy by shipping any surpluses across borders.
     
    Single energy market rules also state Russia's Gazprom cannot dominate pipelines through which it pumps gas on EU territory. That means its South Stream plan to bypass Ukraine breaches EU law known as the Third Energy Package.
     
    The draft document, dated March 10, calls for “effective and consistent implementation of the Third Energy Package by all players in the European energy market”.
     
    Early 2015 deadline for climate goals
     
    Environmentalists and some EU environment ministers have been pressing for next week's leaders' meeting to come to an early agreement on 2030 climate and energy policy.
     
    One of the reasons the European Union is seeking to agree on energy and environment policy to succeed an existing set of 2020 energy targets is the need for the bloc to have a negotiating position as part of U.N. talks on a global deal to tackle climate change.
     
    The deadline for a U.N. deal is at the end of 2015.
     
    The draft only confirms the European Union will submit its contribution by the first quarter of 2015, which will disappoint all those saying an early agreement is vital to provide confidence for investors with very long time horizons.
     
    EU concerns about the impact of energy bills on industrial competitiveness are also reflected in the summit document.
     
    It calls for sustained efforts to moderate costs and asks member states to further examine national policies on energy levies and how great a part taxes pay in final energy prices.

    You May Like

    Video Obama Remembers Fallen Troops for Memorial Day

    President urges Americans this holiday weekend to 'take a moment and offer a silent word of prayer or public word of thanks' to country's veterans

    Upsurge of Migratory Traffic Across Sahara From West to North Africa

    A report by the International Organization for Migration finds more than 60,000 migrants have transited through the Agadez region of Niger between February and April

    UN Blocks Access to Journalist Advocacy Group

    United Nations has rejected bid from nonprofit journalist advocacy group that wanted 'consultative status,' ranking that would have given them greater access to UN meetings

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora