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Wall Street Journal ($):

The worst energy crisis in a half-century is disrupting the West’s transition to cleaner sources of energy by providing new momentum to invest in fossil fuels, business and government leaders said at this week’s World Economic Forum.

Europe’s scramble to wean itself off Russian energy following the country’s attack on Ukraine will lead to new short-term investments in coal, oil and natural gas, energy and government officials said.

But some leaders at Davos warned that the crisis may also give producers an opening to invest in the kind of longer-term fossil fuel projects that Western governments have been discouraging, as countries seek to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions linked to climate change.

That, they cautioned, could make it harder to reach the goals of the international Paris Agreement, which seeks to keep global temperature rises below 2 degrees Celsius from preindustrial levels, to avoid the worst impacts of global warming.

“It is all legitimate to provide energy security and address this immediate emergency question,” said Fatih Birol, executive director of the Paris-based International Energy Agency. “However, this should not be confused [with] making a large-scale, new wave of fossil fuel investments.”

[Chip Cummins and Elena Cherney]

More: Ukraine War Threatens Transition to Cleaner Energy, Leaders Warn at Davos

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