Certainly, the path of energy transition has never been clear. Five climate summits have taken place over the past 30 years, and progress has always fallen short. This latest setback may just be the latest in a long series of halfway measures and setbacks.
Still, without a more comprehensive strategy to wean itself off gas, Europe won’t be able to accomplish its goal of reducing emissions 55 percent by 2030 compared with 1990 levels, or to reach the Glasgow summit’s target of cutting net greenhouse gases to zero by 2050.
As Mr. Nixey acknowledged, “this debate is changing” as leaders are forced to acknowledge the downsides of dependency on Russian energy.
The Ukraine Crisis’s Effect on the Global Economy
A rising concern. A Russian attack on Ukraine could cause dizzying spikes in energy and food prices and spook investors. The economic damage from supply disruptions and economic sanctions would be severe in some countries and industries and unnoticed in others.
Even in Germany, where the progressive Greens have gained a more influential voice in the government, there has been a shift in tone.
This month, Robert Habeck, Germany’s new minister for the economy and climate change and a member of the Greens, said events had underscored the need to diversify supplies. “We need to act here and secure ourselves better,” he said. “If we don’t, we will become a pawn in the game.”
Energy prices started to climb before Mr. Putin began massing troops on Ukraine’s eastern border, as countries emerged from pandemic closures and demand shot up.
But as Mr. Putin moved aggressively against Ukraine and energy prices soared further, the political and strategic vulnerabilities presented by Russia’s control of so much of Europe’s supply took center stage.