The Oklahoman

EU leaders aim to protect energy supplies

- Mike Corder and Raf Casert

BRUSSELS – European Union leaders met Thursday to discuss ways to ease the pain of soaring energy bills for consumers, while seeking to safeguard energy supplies to the 27-nation bloc by speeding up the transition away from polluting fossil fuels to sustainabl­e alternativ­es. The energy debate at the EU leaders’ summit comes amid spiraling prices that are pummeling households and businesses still reeling from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The talks also come just 10 days ahead of the opening of a U.N. climate summit that is widely seen as the last chance to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

The debate on spiraling energy prices also takes place against a backdrop of frosty relations with Russia, a key supplier of gas to Europe.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell called the energy price explosion this year the consequenc­e “of a big geopolitic­al game.”

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