IEA: EU must cut Russian reliance and introduce windfall taxes

The IEA has released a 10-Point Plan for how the EU can reduce its reliance on Russian natural gas imports while sticking to its climate goals in light of the Russian invasion of the Ukraine.

Russia's attack on Ukraine has placed a sharp spotlight on the EU's dependence on Russian natural gas. Russia accounted for about 45 per cent of the EU’s gas imports in 2021 and almost 40 per cent of its total gas consumption.

Executive director Fatih Birol presented the Plan at a press conference with Barbara Pompili, the Minister for Ecological Transition of France, which currently holds the EU Presidency, and Kadri Simson, the EU’s commissioner for Energy.

The 10-Point Plan in outline contains the following points:

• Do not sign any new gas supply contracts with Russia.
• Replace Russian supplies with gas from alternative sources.
• Introduce minimum gas storage obligations.
• Accelerate the deployment of new wind and solar projects.
• Maximise power generation from bioenergy and nuclear.
• Enact short-term tax measures on windfall profits to shelter vulnerable electricity consumers from high prices.
• Speed up the replacement of gas boilers with heat pumps.
• Accelerate energy efficiency improvements in buildings and industry.
• Encourage a temporary thermostat reduction of 1 °C by consumers.
• Step up efforts to diversify and decarbonise sources of power system flexibility.

The IEA’s 31 member countries are releasing more than 60 million barrels of oil from their emergency reserves, sending a unified and strong message to global oil markets that there will be no supply shortfall as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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