The International Energy Agency (IEA) believes that Europe should immediately reduce its gas consumption in the conditions of the current energy crisis. This winter could turn out to be a historic test of European solidarity, said the head of the IEA, Fatih Birol.

“The first immediate step to fill Europe’s gas storage to an appropriate level before winter is to reduce current gas consumption in Europe and store the saved fuel,” Birol wrote in a commentary published on the IEA website.

Europe needs to cut gas consumption by 12 billion cubic meters before the start of the heating season, equivalent to 130 LNG tankers, Birol said.

Birol offers European leaders five measures to help them prepare for winter. EU governments should introduce auction platforms for industrial gas users, minimize gas use in the energy sector, improve coordination between gas and electricity operators, help reduce household electricity demand and harmonize planning in emergency situations at national and European level.