In order to prevent the worst outcomes of global climate change, the world needs to phase out coal. While some countries are taking first steps in this regard, Russia shows considerable little interest in the issue. However, the country may be pushed in this direction nevertheless, as Vladimir Slivyak explains.
In the coming months, the EU will decide on its future energy mix and the role of renewables. So far, the outlook is bleak. Silvia Brugger explains why the EU should opt for a much more ambitious program: Renewables are cheaper and reduce Europe’s foreign energy dependence.
The Ukrainian crisis of the last months has called Europe’s strategic dependency on Russian energy imports into question. According to Matthias Ruchser, there can be only one future-proof answer to the current dilemma, which will decarbonise Europe while also increasing energy independency: A European energy transition.
The Polish government is one of the proponents of a European energy union. Unfortunately, its sole concerns are cheap access to gas and the survival of Polish coal – a goal that runs completely contrary to the EU’s climate policy, argues Michał Olszewski.
Depending on who you ask, Germany just imposed a temporary moratorium on fracking or just opened the floodgates for it. As always, the truth is somewhere in the middle, with opposing camps reading the worst into the facts for their own political campaigning. Craig Morris says the situation in Ukraine is illustrative.
Next week, elections to the European Parliament will take place all over Europe. What stance do the different parties take on the issue of energy and could a further integration of the energy market based on support for renewables and energy efficiency help to reinvigorate the European project? Grace Murray and Heike Leberle report from Brussels.
Renewable energy and energy efficiency are not widely discussed in Russia for many reasons. Germany has certainly been an excellent example of energy transformation, an example other governments would do well to follow, but let’s take a look at the present situation in Russia. Vladimir Slivyak reports from Moscow.
Can the Ukraine crisis force Germany to backtrack on the Energiewende? No, regardless of Poland’s off-the-cuff critique. But it’s fueling anew the debate in Germany over supply security. Renewables could go a long way toward bolstering Germany’s energy security vis-à-vis Russia, while energy-saving measures could be the true clincher.
The Baltic states, overwhelmingly dependent upon Russian energy supplies, experience most directly the high costs of their neighbor’s political pressure on the EU. Paul Hockenos wonders if diversification including renewables could provide these countries some relief.
Following the Russian incorporation of the Crimea the West has imposed sanctions on the Russian banking sector as well as on Russian and Ukrainian individuals with close contacts to the Putin regime. In spite of these somewhat symbolic sanctions, the first effects are already apparent: capital is flowing out of Russia and planned European investments in the country are being put on hold. Matthias Ruchser from the German Development Institute examines how recent divergences between the West and Russia might impact the energy transition in Germany and Europe.