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Poland won’t accept EU curbs on gas use: gov’t minister

25.07.2022 23:00
The Polish climate and environment minister has said Poland cannot accept the European Commission’s proposal that member states cut gas use by 15 percent to prepare for potential supply cuts from Russia. 
Polands Climate and Environment Minister Anna Moskwa speaks to reporters in Warsaw on Monday, July 25, 2022.
Poland's Climate and Environment Minister Anna Moskwa speaks to reporters in Warsaw on Monday, July 25, 2022.PAP/Mateusz Marek

Anna Moskwa made the remark at a news conference on Monday, Polish state news agency PAP reported.  

She said: “It’s hard to discuss compulsory measures prepared by the European Commission in a matter of days, in a makeshift fashion, forcing countries to reduce gas use. We can’t agree to that.”

Moskwa added: “You can’t expect countries to accept obligatory reductions in gas use without knowing what the coming winter will look like, without having secured their own interests.”

"There are other member states that object to certain passages in the European Commission’s document,” she told reporters, citing Cyprus, Greece, Malta, Portugal and Spain. 

Moskwa stressed that Poland “is in favour of dialogue and cooperation on the issue, for instance as regards voluntary reduction schemes," the PAP news agency reported.

She also said that Poland had already prepared for a potential crisis by reducing its gas usage this year and filling up its storage facilities. 

‘Energy security is a task for individual countries’

According to Moskwa, "energy security is a task for individual countries" and their governments to accomplish. 

“We take responsibility for this and we want the governments of other member countries to assume such responsibility as well,” she told reporters. 

Moskwa said that Poland would also call for the suspension of the European Union’s emissions trading scheme (ETS) "until it undergoes comprehensive reform." 

She added that such a move "would bolster Poland’s economy and energy security." 

On Tuesday, Moskwa is set to attend an extraordinary meeting of EU energy ministers where the EU executive’s plan to reduce gas use will be discussed. 

Plan to reduce gas use

The European Commission last week called for a 15 percent cut in natural gas use by EU member states as they struggle with an energy crisis caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.  

The Commission said it was proposing "a new legislative tool and a European Gas Demand Reduction Plan" to reduce gas use in Europe by 15 percent between August 1, 2022 and March 31, 2023. 

It added that "all consumers, public administrations, households, owners of public buildings, power suppliers and industry can and should take measures to save gas."

The EU executive promised to accelerate work to diversify supplies, including through joint purchases of gas "to strengthen the EU's possibility of sourcing alternative gas deliveries."

The European Commission's head, Ursula von der Leyen, said Russia was "using gas as a weapon" and added that energy security had to be addressed at the EU level.


Source: PAPconsilium.europa.eu