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French President Macron pleads for 10% reduction in energy usage

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French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday pleaded for the country to sharply reduce its energy usage over the coming weeks in an effort to avoid rationing and cuts this winter as tensions with Russia remain. 

Macron asked for a 10% reduction, which included asking French businesses and households to tamp down their heating and air conditioning usage. 

However, if these efforts aren't sufficient, the French leader warned that forced energy savings might have to be considered.

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Emmanuel Macron, France's president

Emmanuel Macron, France’s president, during a news conference following the European Union (EU) leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium, on Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021.  ( Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Energy rationing plans are being prepared "in case" they’re needed, Macron said at a news conference, adding that "cuts will happen as a last resort." 

Speaking after a videoconference Monday with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Macron also announced a plan to boost gas supplies to Germany from France to make up for a drop in Russian gas supplies from the east. In exchange, Macron said Germany will continue supplying electricity to France to make up for shortages caused by maintenance underway on many French nuclear reactors. 

The leaders spoke before an emergency European Union energy ministers meeting Friday about how the continent can coordinate to keep warm this winter if Russia cuts off gas supplies. 

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Paris

A man walks past the Eiffel Tower before the curfew, which begins at 6 p.m, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak on March 15, 2021 in Paris, France.  (Chesnot/Getty Images / Getty Images)

This comes just after the Group of Seven (G7) pledged to impose a cap on the price of Russian oil Friday to try to limit the country's revenues and its ability to fund the war in Ukraine, while also curtailing the war’s impact on energy prices and inflation.

However, China opposed the move. 

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According to Reuters, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning on Monday said, "Oil is one of the global commodities, and it is crucial to ensure the security of global energy supply." 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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