French Prime Minister warns of risk of rationing this winter; urges companies to implement energy saving plans – POLITICO
PARIS — French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne has warned that the government may have to ration energy this winter and urged business leaders to take action to reduce consumption.
Speaking at an annual conference organized by France’s largest employers’ federation, Medef, Borne urged companies to ‘go further’ in cutting consumption, amid fears of a full cut Russian gas, which she said threatened « sudden gas blackouts ». [with] with serious economic and social consequences. »
“In September, each company should implement its own energy saving plan,” Borne said. « If we act collectively, we can overcome the risk of shortages. But if each of us does not do our part, or if all the negative prospects materialize immediately, we will have to impose a reduction in consumption. »
“If we end up rationing, businesses will be hit first and unfortunately we have to be prepared for that,” she added.
She said the government was working with industry organizations such as France Industrie to limit the impact of any rationing and was preparing measures to support the companies most affected.
Borne said she had ordered each government department to put in place a plan to reduce their energy consumption by 10% over the next two years and suggested that each company also put in place an « ambassador of energy sobriety ». She added that companies’ energy saving plans will be reviewed in October.