EU Countries Split Over Joint Response to Energy Price Spike

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LUXEMBOURG—European Union countries failed to hold connected a bloc-wide effect to surging energy prices successful an exigency gathering of authorities ministers connected Tuesday, with immoderate countries seeking a regulatory overhaul and others firmly opposed.

European state prices person deed grounds highs this autumn and stay astatine lofty levels, prompting astir EU countries to respond with exigency measures similar price caps and subsidies to assistance trim user vigor bills.

Countries are struggling to hold nevertheless connected a longer-term program to cushion against fossil-fuel terms swings, which Spain, France, the Czech Republic, and Greece accidental warrant a bigger shake-up of the mode EU vigor markets work.

“There was nary agreed presumption connected whether oregon not involution measures should beryllium adopted astatine the EU level and applied successful each subordinate states,” Slovenian infrastructure curate Jernej Vrtovec, whose state holds the EU presidency, said aft the meeting.

Spain made the lawsuit successful Tuesday’s gathering for associated state purchases by EU countries and projected that idiosyncratic countries should beryllium capable to opt retired of the EU’s existent strategy of mounting energy prices.

Those proposals faced absorption from different countries, who are wary of overhauling EU vigor laws successful effect to what they accidental is simply a short-term terms crunch.

Nine states including Germany—Europe’s biggest system and marketplace for electricity—published a associated connection up of the gathering that said they would not enactment EU energy marketplace reforms.

“This volition not beryllium a remedy to mitigate the existent rising vigor prices linked to fossil fuels markets,” the countries said.

Joint Gas Buying

The European Commission is analysing the plan of Europe’s energy marketplace and gathering grounds connected the behaviour of state suppliers aft immoderate countries accused Russia’s Gazprom of manipulating the marketplace to propulsion up prices.

The Commission volition besides measure the pros and cons of associated state buying among EU countries.

“There are galore issues to beryllium considered—who volition wage for the costs of procuring and storing the gas, however the state volition beryllium transported from the antithetic regions,” EU vigor commissioner Kadri Simson said.

Luxembourg vigor curate Claude Turmes said Spain was “over-promising by saying associated state procurement volition lick the crisis.”

With little than a week until the planetary COP26 clime alteration summit, the vigor terms spike has besides stoked tensions among EU countries arsenic they hole to negociate a raft of caller policies to tackle clime change, including higher taxation rates for polluting fuels.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban past week dismissed the plans arsenic a “utopian fantasy,” a stance astatine likelihood with different states who accidental precocious fossil substance prices should trigger a faster power to low-emission, locally produced renewable energy.

By Kate Abnett

Reuters

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