As winter draws closer, European leaders are considering more radical measures to prevent a crisis.
Energy shortages leave many Europeans wondering how they will heat their homes this winter. With winter quickly approaching, European leaders are looking for ways to prevent disaster during the colder months.
Not only could lack of heat in the winter result in physical harm, but resulting frustrations could lead to political unrest and economic uncertainty.
Many European countries rely on Russia for natural gas and oil. Russia is sending less fuel than in the past, causing European prices to skyrocket. The U.K. energy regulator announced last week that the cap on gas prices would be raised 80% and said to expect another increase in January, according to Axios.
The European Union energy ministers are expected to hold an emergency meeting in the coming days.
All 27 members of the EU have already agreed to reduce gas consumption by 15% until March next year. Some countries may impose mandatory gas restrictions.
Why it’s news
The energy crisis may test Europe’s resolve against condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In response to Russia’s invasion, European countries placed sanctions on Russia in an attempt to put the country in check.
While the EU may meet together to form a solution, each country has diverse energy needs and capabilities, further complicating the problem. An easy solution may not be readily available.
In addition to concerns about heat this winter, residents in some countries are asking for taxes to be reduced in order to offset the crushing energy prices. Some have suggested some sort of relief payment be made to citizens as well, Axios reports.
The next several weeks will be key in determining how Europe will fare over the winter.
Head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen tweeted, “The skyrocketing electricity prices are now exposing the limitations of our current market design. It was developed for different circumstances. That’s why we are now working on an emergency intervention and a structural reform of the electricity market.”