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Power station in Neurath operated by RWE AG is seen near Rommerskirchen, Germany on August 10, 2021. Photo: Tang/NurPhoto via Getty Images

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.

Go deeper: U.K. suspends competition law to address fuel shortages

Go deeper

Definition of success at UN Climate Summit is in flux

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The UN Climate Summit in Glasgow is less than 20 days away, and diplomats have entered a crucial period when expectations are raised or lowered to guard against any blowback that might come from a particular outcome.

Driving the news: Officials in the U.S. and abroad are sending clear signals that the odds that COP26 will meet some of its most important goals are diminishing, for a variety of reasons both macro and micro in scale.

"No-code" miracle for startups

Expand chart
Data: Interactive Advertising Bureau; Table: Axios Visuals

The U.S. has reached a tipping point in its shift from the industrial economy — one that relied on the buildout of hardware — to an information economy that relies on the transfer, storage and implementation of data, according to a new report.

Why it matters: This shift towards a data and information-based economy has allowed more businesses to establish themselves and scale quickly and at a very low cost. As such, the number of jobs created by the commercial internet has more than tripled since 2012.

Amazon's small business shield

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Amazon is touting the success of small sellers on its platform through the pandemic — and warning that antitrust legislation could jeopardize that success and blow up its open-marketplace model.

Why it matters: As online shopping became a lifeline for both businesses and consumers during the pandemic, Amazon reaped big benefits, but also saw its regulatory risk grow.