Europe's energy price crisis threatens CO2 cuts
Several new analyses point to the same conclusion: Europe's natural gas and power crunch shows that its transition to clean energy could be derailed absent better supply and market management.
The big picture: A new essay in Foreign Policy lays out the many reasons behind the energy crisis and gas supply tightness in particular: Cold snaps earlier this year that boosted gas demand and hampered U.S. production.
- But also more recent summer heat waves that boosted fuel demand; less windy weather in Europe slowing wind generation; drought that has reduced hydropower; European carbon market price rises; Russia's decision not to boost supplies, and more.
Why it matters: This perfect storm has consequences for climate policy.
- "As the world accelerates the transition away from fossil fuels, governments must thus expand their toolkits to manage volatility in energy prices," writes Jason Bordoff, co-founding dean of Columbia University's climate school.
What they're saying: He's not the only one making some version of this point...
- "If governments do not manage the energy transition more carefully, then today’s crisis will be the first of many that threaten the vital move to a stable climate," the Economist warns.
- The Financial Times' Martin Sandbu, in a weekend piece, notes that Europe's decarbonization agenda requires making fossil fuels more expensive, and the price surge will make that tough sell harder.
- "Whether EU leaders can keep a cool head in the current crisis...will show whether their aspiration to global green hegemony has any staying power," he writes.