Will security concerns drive a faster energy transition in Europe?

By: Jiesper Pedersen, Carla Gomes and Filipe Duarte Santos

Energy supply has always been a key security concern. Yet, over the last few months, the Russia-Ukraine war has emerged as a possible driver for a faster transition towards a more resilient and clean energy system. The global economic system is strongly reliant on massive energy consumption. Energy consumption is constantly increasing each year and correlates directly with CO2 emissions. The Paris Agreement’s key goal was to keep warming under 1,5º but has not bent the annually increasing emissions curve yet. Will Putin’s invasion make us deliver on its promise faster?

Stopping Russian gas imports altogether, following the invasion of Ukraine in late February, would have been a strong show of support to the Ukrainian people. However, economic assessments, fear of national recessions, and a firm reliance on Russian natural gas for industry and households have prevented a total halt. Thus, the EU continues to finance the Russian war machine, all the while aiding Ukraine with armoury and gaining time to increase supply from alternative sources.

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