On Wednesday, the EU unveiled proposals to tax energy firms by up to $140 billion euros ($141 billion) to alleviate the burden of soaring prices for households and businesses across the bloc.
EU chief Ursula von der Leyen presented the plan to the European Parliament which also includes measures for cuts to electricity use in the EU.
EU plan to impose taxes on “excess revenues” of energy firms
The plan targets “excess revenues” with proposals to skim the profits of low-carbon electricity producers and implement a de facto windfall tax on the oil, gas, and coal sectors.
The money raised, estimated to be $141 billion, would go to families and businesses across the EU’s twenty-seven states.
The EU’s member states will pore over the proposals with hopes of an agreement by the end of this month.
Von der Leyen said that “making ends meet” was “becoming a source of anxiety for millions of businesses and households.”
“In these times it is wrong to receive extraordinary record revenues and profits benefiting from war and on the back of our consumers,” she argued.
The EU chief said EU states had managed to stockpile gas reserves for the winter to eighty-four percent of capacity, well ahead of an October deadline.
She named the US, Norway, and Algeria as “reliable” gas suppliers.
She also announced plans to set up a European hydrogen bank to promote investment in green alternative energies.
Energy crisis following Russian sanctions
Defending EU sanctions on Russia, she said: “This is the time for us to show resolve, not appeasement.”
“Russia’s financial sector is on life-support,” she asserted, with nearly one thousand international companies having left the country.
“The Russian military is taking chips from dishwashers and refrigerators to fix their military hardware because they ran out of semiconductors,” Von der Leyen said, and “Russia’s industry is in tatters.”
Governments across the EU have warned their public of a difficult winter ahead due to the energy crisis.
In Greece, Minister of Development and Investment Adonis Georgiadis recently advised Greeks to seek alternative ways for their energy needs and warned of the difficult months to come due to “the enormous damage that our economy and our pockets will suffer from Putin’s energy war in Europe.”