“War is a bad alibi to continue to bet on fossil fuels”

The invasion of Ukraine by Russia could have made the diplomatic agenda coincide with the fight against climate change. The need to get rid of Russian hydrocarbons to put pressure on Vladimir Putin in order to stop aggression as quickly as possible was an opportunity to attach the essential (securing energy supplies) to the essentials (the acceleration of energy transition).

But ten weeks after the start of hostilities, bad reflexes remain. European economies parent at the most in a hurry. It is more a question of finding other suppliers of fossil fuels more frequentable than to start a withdrawal which, alone, would allow to really change the situation.

Rather than focusing on the urgency of sobriety and decreeing general mobilization to produce more green energies, investments in oil and gas go back upwards, risking jeopardizing commitments taken as part of the Paris Agreement. In war as in war, industrial and political leaders respond in choir. But this conflict is a bad alibi to continue to bet on fossil fuels.

short -term provisions

Contrary to a repeated scenario at envy, the Russian-Ukrainian war is not the trigger for the current energy crisis. It only increases a phenomenon that has manifested itself in the summer of 2021 with a brutal increase in oil and gas prices. This is when it would have been necessary to start accelerating the energy transition.

Europeans preferred to make the round back by focusing on a quick return to normal. Hence the short -term arrangements that have been taken to preserve purchasing power, without profoundly changing our energy consumption mode. “Priority has been given to politically easy but which are economically expensive and environmentally disastrous,” said Thomas Pellerin-Carlin, director of the Energy Center at the Jacques Delors Institute.

The example of liquefied natural gas (LNG) is emblematic of these choices. Using this solution in an emergency to diversify supply and getting less dependent on Russia can be understood in the short term. But the options currently taken, which are long -term, are much less justified. Economically, LNG is negotiated on a very unstable market and is quite expensive. On the ecological level, liquefaction is an extremely energy -consuming process, not to mention methane leaks throughout the routing. Overall, the production cycle is not much more virtuous than that of coal.

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/Media reports.