BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union governments agreed Tuesday to reduce consumption of natural gas this winter to protect themselves against any further supply cuts by Russia amid its invasion of Ukraine, although the measure contains exemptions for some countries.
EU energy ministers approved a draft European law designed to lower demand for gas by 15% from August through March. The legislation entails voluntary national steps to reduce gas consumption, but if that does not yield enough savings, mandatory actions in the 27-member bloc would be triggered.
“I know that the decision was not easy, but I think, at the end, everybody understands that this sacrifice is necessary. We have to, and we will, share the pain,” Czech Industry Minister Jozef Sikela said after chairing the meeting in Brussels.