Germany backs down in gas levy fight

By Gabriel Gavin, Victor Jack, Julia Wacket | 05/31/2024 06:22 AM EDT

The move comes after the EU threatened legal action and capitals warned the fees were making it harder to quit Russian energy.

Germany has caved to its neighbors’ concerns — and the threat of EU legal action — over a plan to charge hefty fees for gas exports.

Sven Giegold, Germany’s state secretary for climate, announced the U-turn on Thursday, revealing Berlin “is aiming to abolish the gas storage levy at border crossing points with neighboring countries” by the end of the year.

The revenue-raising measure was first introduced in 2022 to help cover a €10 billion black hole in Berlin’s national budget.


The shortfall arose when Germany bought large volumes of expensive gas for its own domestic needs at the height of the energy crisis, following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. In response, Berlin imposed an extra fee at the cross-border points where gas leaves the country.