The European Union is seeking to force fossil fuel companies to share exceptional profits they have made this year from surging energy costs.
European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen (pictured) laid out the plan for a “crisis contribution” from oil, gas and coal companies in her annual State of the Union address yesterday. She also said the bloc would propose a revenue cap for low-cost electricity generators such as renewable and nuclear.
These actions are due to raise €140bn to “cushion the blow” of rising energy costs. Further “emergency and temporary measures” being discussed include price caps, Von der Leyen said.
“In our social market economy, profits are good. But in these times it is wrong to receive extraordinary record profits benefitting from war and on the back of consumers.
“In these times, profits must be shared and channelled to those who need it the most,” she commented.
Elsewhere in the address, Von der Leyen said to enable hydrogen to move from the niche to the mass market, a European Hydrogen Bank will be created with €3bn available to invest in building the market.
“It will help guarantee the purchase of hydrogen, notably by using resources from the Innovation Fund,” she said.