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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine needn’t hinder local weather progress. Here’s why – The European Sting – Important News & Insights on European Politics, Economic system, Foreign Affairs, Enterprise & Know-how


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This article is dropped at you because of the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: John Letzing, Digital Editor, Strategic Intelligence, World Economic Forum


  • Many international locations don’t need to proceed shopping for Russia’s fossil fuels following its invasion of Ukraine.
  • But efforts to faucet different sources and ease costs could hinder local weather progress.
  • Previous power crises led to constructive local weather efforts.

It’s “now or never” to stave off a local weather disaster, in response to a UN report revealed final week.

But “now” occurs to be within the midst of one other unfolding tragedy. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has incurred efforts to punitively isolate the world’s third-biggest oil producer, in ways in which threaten to impede the local weather progress made so far.

In the US, the place lawmakers authorised a ban on Russian oil, surging fuel costs following the invasion have spurred calls for extra drilling and should slacken a recently-revitalized local weather focus. Germany is firing up outdated coal energy vegetation, and the Czech Republic now expects to depend on coal longer than anticipated. The UK goals to increase oil and fuel drilling in a means that will “blow” its net-zero emissions goal.

Goldman Sachs says a “global reset” in power spending is underway, following years of declining funding in fossil fuels.

Yet, on the similar time the stigma of Russia’s fossil fuels is spurring curiosity in pulling extra out of the bottom elsewhere, the UN’s report on dwindling alternatives to counter local weather change is producing clashing headlines – and a way of cognitive dissonance.

One of the uncommon optimistic takeaways from that report is an acknowledgement that some international locations have really notched sustained reductions in greenhouse fuel emissions in recent times.

But many locations, significantly in Europe, now discover themselves in a predicament as a consequence of their heavy dependence on Russian oil and pure fuel. They should by some means maintain the lights on with out additionally critically undermining their means to adapt to a warming planet.

Learning exhausting power classes

Ultimately, the present scenario may very well sharpen our deal with weaning ourselves from fossil fuels – irrespective of the place they arrive from. While Goldman Sachs says spending on producing hydrocarbons will enhance, it additionally says funding in renewable energy will develop in tandem.

Meanwhile the firms accountable for the majority of worldwide carbon dioxide emissions could make use of excessive oil costs to do issues apart from drill for extra fossil fuels – through the use of associated windfalls to fund the removing of carbon dioxide from the ambiance, for instance.

Previous power value shocks spurred progressive, climate-friendly measures.

When Arab oil-producing international locations began limiting output in 1973 – additionally a results of an outbreak of conflict – it almost quadrupled costs and triggered shortages and lengthy strains at fuel stations. Another value spike in 1979 had related impacts.

In Europe, this sparked curiosity in “exotic” power sources like wind and “power from sunlight.” France began constructing nuclear energy capability that now generates 70% of its electrical energy.

In the US, responses included instituting a nationwide pace restrict and setting the primary gasoline financial system requirements for the auto business. The nation additionally created a Strategic Petroleum Reserve – which is being tapped following the current value surge.

It might sound misguided to deal with power decisions and local weather change when a conflict is inflicting a lot struggling. But there’s a transparent hyperlink.

“This is a fossil fuel war,” a Ukrainian local weather scientist mentioned lately in a broadcast interview, as a result of an absence of progress on curbing using one has contributed to a rustic’s means to wage the opposite.

More studying on Ukraine and power

For extra context, listed here are hyperlinks to additional studying from the World Economic Forum’s Strategic Intelligence platform:

  • Does Russia’s invasion of Ukraine make it simpler or tougher to cease local weather change? According to this evaluation, the reply relies upon closely on the way you body the issue. (The Conversation)
  • The EU can concurrently finish its dependence on Russia and pursue decarbonization, in response to this piece – which cites researchers who say member states ought to have the ability to get by subsequent winter with out Russian imports. (Nature)
  • Iraq exported extra oil final month than it had within the earlier half century, in response to this report, and that will complicate efforts to diversify the nation’s sources of revenue. (Al Monitor)
  • Even if Europe can discover alternate options to Russian oil provides comparatively simply, in response to this evaluation, that won’t be the case for fuel. (Institut Montaigne)
  • “What climate policies are being implemented and are they working?” is only one part of this in-depth Q&A on the current UN local weather report. (Carbon Brief)
  • In a means, the UN local weather report is a last warning, in response to this piece – as a result of we’ll possible have crossed an important threshold by the point the subsequent one is revealed in about 5 years. (Inside Climate News)
  • Given the occasions of the previous a number of a long time, in response to this evaluation, it’s price noting that investing in non-fossil power programs would strengthen democracy’s place as a elementary precept of contemporary authorities. (Yale Climate Connections)

On the Strategic Intelligence platform, you will discover feeds of knowledgeable evaluation associated to Energy, Geo-economics and a whole bunch of further matters. You’ll have to register to view.




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