Invasion of Ukraine and climate change
5 April 2022
The UN’s latest IPCC report on the mitigation of climate change states that immediate and deep emissions reductions are needed to limit global warming, alongside the removal of carbon dioxide from the air in future. However, wholesale prices of most fossil fuels have more than doubled since October 2021 and governments are urging fossil fuel companies to drill for more oil and gas to make up for sanctions on Russia after its invation of Ukraine.
Writing in The Conversation, Myles Allen and Hugh Helferty explain that while, higher prices and a new awareness of the geopolitical risks of relying on imported fossil fuels should increase incentives to invest in renewable alternatives, higher costs and inflation are placing pressure on public and private finance available for the transition - and so triggering a rush to increase consumer fossil fuel subsidies.
The authors write that the invasion has highlighted the dangers of ignoring producer responsibility for fossil fuels. They argue that at today’s prices, these producers could capture the carbon dioxide emissions they are responsible for and still make the same profits they were making a year ago
Photo by Ihor OINUA on Unsplash