EU states race to head off energy price crisis

It was almost good news for turkeys.

A surge in gas prices cut output of fertiliser, and the carbon dioxide produced as a byproduct.

That could save all kinds of livestock from the slaughterhouse, as the gas is needed to stun animals before killing.

Now the UK government is spending millions to support CO2 production, and the turkeys once again won't be looking forward to Christmas.

But the 250% surge in European gas prices this year has the whole region worried.

On Wednesday energy ministers from across the EU met to discuss emergency measures.

Italy and Greece say they are considering subsidies or price caps to shield consumers.

Spain has urged the EU to organize a more coordinated response.

In Brussels, the European Commission says it's looking at what tools it can use.

On Wednesday, ministers also discussed speeding up the shift to renewables.

Kadri Simson is the EU energy commissioner:

"It is clear that in the current situation, Europe needs to invest into renewables because they are really offering an alternative on our dependance on imports of fossil fuels and we have to invest also into the new energy efficiency measures."

That stance will be welcomed by greens.

But it won't help European industry right now.

Makers of steel and cement are maintaining production, but say they face colossal price rises.

Leading fertiliser maker Yara International is cutting European production, and importing from elsewhere instead.

The UK has warned food producers that CO2 costs could rise by 400%, even after Tuesday's deal.

And all around Europe, consumers will be keeping a wary eye on their fuel bills.

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