This is what the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs & Security Policy Josep Borrell said this week in a blog post.
The EU’s top diplomat said:
- We have already managed to cope with an overall reduction in the share of Russian gas imports from 40% at the beginning of the year to around 20% today, principally by buying more LNG, whose share of gas usage has doubled from 19% to 37%
- We have also made progress in buying more pipeline gas from Norway, Algeria and Azerbaijan
Borrell threw his weight behind the 15-% gas consumption cut proposed by the European Commission, noting that:
- At heart, this is about how we prepare ourselves for a tough winter and how we organise solidarity among us, pooling risks and resources
- We need to develop a real Energy Union
This followed vocal opposition from EU members that felt they should not be forced to cut their consumption as deeply as others that have few alternative sources of gas in the absence of Russian deliveries.
In his post, however, Borrell noted that the EU’s turn to alternative sources of gas would not compromise its ambition to reduce its use of fossil fuels.
The official also said:
- Despite our short-term needs for fossil fuels to partially replace supplies from Russia, we are not in any way promoting a global renaissance of fossil fuels