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

Gun Nation

This is who America's gun owners are More

US Border Patrol Union Accused of Taking Sides on Immigration

Report alleges agents leaking info to immigration opponents, appearing at their private events; Center for Immigration Studies director defends agents' actions More

Video Rights Monitor: Hate Groups' Use of Internet to Inflame, Recruit Growing

Wiesenthal Center's Abraham Cooper says extremists have become skilled at celebrating violence, ideology on Web 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.
Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Interneti
X
Mike O'Sullivan
June 30, 2015 8:20 PM
Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs