City of Zurich plans to shut off Russian natural gas supplies
An energy provider in Switzerland has said that it wants to end Zurich's dependence on Russian natural gas. After the Russian state began its invasion of Ukraine, officials in Switzerland's largest city say they want to become more energy independent, but the move will mean higher costs for consumers.
Increased pressure to boycott Russian goods in Switzerland
The decision comes amid increasing pressure from the Swiss government and the public to become less dependent on Russian goods and natural resources. Already, some Swiss supermarkets have announced plans to boycott Russian goods, and politicians in Bern have called for the "freedom of Switzerland" from Moscow’s gas supplies.
Housing in Switzerland still heavily depends on Russian natural gas for heating and other utilities. The largest gas supplier in Canton Zurich, Energie 360°, said that around 47 percent of Swiss gas imports are from Russia, and that despite the war with Ukraine, Russian gas continues to flow into the country.
Zurich to end its dependence on Russian natural gas
In response, Zurich Councillor and Chairperson of the Board of Directors at Energie 360°, Michael Baumer, said that the city would “reduce the amount of Russian gas used in Zurich, and do without it in the long term.” Energie 360°, which is owned by the city of Zurich, said that it was adjusting its procurement strategy to wean itself off Russian gas as soon as possible.
The company said that it was mainly looking into importing Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), as it would allow the import of gas from other countries through Europe’s 40 LNG terminals. Other countries, like Germany, have also said that they are hoping to build up a supply of LNG and natural gas, in case relations with Russia deteriorate further.
However, one key issue remains the cost, with the price of natural gas rising by almost 8 percent in the last week alone. As gas prices continue to rise due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, Energie 360° has said that it cannot rule out further price rises for homebuyers and landlords.