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

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

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.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs