Since early 2021, Russia has systematically reduced supply of natural gas to Europe before halting most flows in mid-2022. This has caused gas prices to increase more than ten-fold, driving up electricity prices to unprecedented high levels and threatening low-income citizens and energy-intensive firms. Unsurprisingly, this has triggered intense public policy responses across the EU, ranging from tax holidays to cash support and interventions on electricity markets. While prices have fallen 80% since their peak in August 2022, the crisis continues to shape policy: the EU has announced a reform of electricity markets this year. The Centre for Sustainability responded to the crisis with public events starting in January 2022, numerous explainer texts and videos, policy advice in front of and behind the scenes, including as a member of the Gas Commission, and through media comments and research papers.
The 2022 European energy crisis was the most severe since the 1973 oil price shock. Its economic and political consequences will be felt for years.