Will Europe’s efforts to reduce Russia’s fossil fuel use hurt its climate goals?

In 2021, the European Union imported about 40% of its gas and about 25% of its oil from Russia, The Associated Press reported. But now EU officials say that “the continent’s Russia’s dependence on oil and natural gas – And This implies a friction between security and climate goals.At least in the short term.

“to Breaking out of Russia’s energy supply As soon as possible, Europe needs to burn more coal and build more pipelines and terminals to import fossil fuels from elsewhere…”
[T]He plans to EU Cut Russian gas imports by two-thirds. By the end of this year, completely abolished before 2030… Energy relations with Russia It focuses on securing alternative sources of fossil fuels. In the long run, however, the geopolitical and price pressures sparked by Russia’s war in Ukraine could actually accelerate Europe’s shift away from oil, gas and coal. Experts say the war served as a reminder that renewable energy is good for the climate as well as national security. This can help speed up the generation of wind and solar power, as well as help boost conservation and energy efficiency initiatives….

George Zachmann, an energy expert at Bruegel’s think tank in Brussels, said a “slight increase” in carbon emissions would be necessary to quickly pursue energy independence from Russia. But “in the long run, the effect will see more investment in renewables and energy efficiency in Europe,” Zachmann said.

A plan that would not have been considered just a few months ago is now being actively discussed, such as operating a coal power plant in Germany after 2030, previously considered an end date. “There should be no taboos,” said Germany’s Deputy Prime Minister and Energy Minister Robert Habeck. The Czech government has made the same calculations for extending the life of coal power plants. Czech Energy Security Commissioner Václav Bartuska told news site Seznam Zprávy “We will need it until alternative resources are found.” “Until then, even the greenest governments won’t phase out coal….”

In the UK, which is no longer part of the EU, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it is time to “take back control of our energy supply”. The UK will phase out small amounts of oil from Russia this year. More importantly, Johnson has revealed plans to authorize new oil and gas exploration in the North Sea, but environmentalists have been disappointed to say it is incompatible with Britain’s climate goals. The ruling Conservatives and some within the broader political right want the UK government to withdraw its promise to reach net zero by 2050. This commitment was made six months ago at the World Climate Summit in Glasgow, Scotland….

But the shockwaves of the war tore the two sides apart. Rapidly rising gas and electricity prices and a desire to reduce dependence on Russia are increasing pressure to expand the development of renewable energy sources and promote environmental protection. The International Energy Agency (IEA) recently announced a 10-item plan to reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian gas by a third within a year. By lowering the building thermostat by an average of 1 degree Celsius during the home heating season, 10 billion cubic meters of natural gas can be saved per year, which is about 6% of Europe’s imports from Russia.

Will Europe’s efforts to reduce Russia’s fossil fuel use hurt its climate goals?

Source link Will Europe’s efforts to reduce Russia’s fossil fuel use hurt its climate goals?

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