EC advises member states to mitigate effects of high energy prices
The European Commission acknowledges the energy price surge and admits that the national government should provide support to households and firms. Still, it claims that the climate policy has nothing to do with it and, on the contrary, "we need to speed up the green transition, not slow it down."
The EC advised the 27 EU member states on October 13 to adopt tax cuts, state aid and other measures to help households and businesses weather the impact of high energy prices that have fueled a renewed debate on the use of nuclear power, Sandiegouniontribune.com reported.
To help consumers, the EC proposed that countries offer income support through vouchers, bill payment deferrals or partial bill payments, which can be supported with revenue from the EU's emissions trading system.
On top of those measures, EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson said the Commission would look into the possible benefits of EU countries jointly buying natural gas. She said countries could collectively buy gas to form a strategic reserve. But, like the joint scheme to buy the Covid vaccine, participation would be voluntary.
"We are not facing a surge because of our climate policy," EU Commissioner Simson said, quoted by BBC. "Fossil fuel prices are spiking. We need to speed up the green transition, not slow it down."
Commissioner Simson will present the set of measures to MEPs on October 14 and to energy ministers on October 18.
(Photo source: Elena Poddybnaya/Dreamstime.com)