The U.N. Tells the E.U. That Green Energy Goals Are Worth Freezing to Death Over
A United Nations (U.N.) commissioner said this week that the long-term climate crisis is more important than Europe’s immediate energy needs.
As part of ongoing efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change, the European Union (E.U.) adopted plans intended to lower the continent’s reliance on carbon-producing energy. “The fossil fuel economy has reached its limits,” Ursula von der Leyen, the head of the E.U.’s executive body, declared last year.
Under its current framework, by the end of the decade, the E.U. seeks to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 55 percent from what they were in 1990. It further pledges to make the continent carbon neutral by 2050. To achieve these goals, the E.U. has mandated that countries make certain changes. In June, it passed a resolution that would ban all sales of cars with internal combustion engines by 2035. Many nations have also been phasing out coal-fired power plants that produce a disproportionate amount of global carbon emissions.
But Europe is currently in dire straits: Germany, its largest economy, traditionally derived more than a quarter of its electricity from natural gas, and more than half of its natural gas came from Russia through the Nord Stream pipeline. Russia provides about 40 percent of the entire continent’s natural gas. Earlier this month, amid continued sanctions over its war against Ukraine, Russia announced that it had shut off the pipeline indefinitely. Germany had already begun to wean itself off of Russian fuel, but as of late June still relied on the Kremlin for about a quarter of its natural gas, specifically the portion used to heat more than a third of German homes.
Now, in the face of potential energy rationing, the E.U. and European governments are spending at least 50 billion euros ($50 billion) on imports of coal and natural gas, and reactivating shuttered coal plants. Virginijus Sinkevičius, an E.U. environmental commissioner, said the organization is still committed to overall carbon neutrality by 2050, and
Article from Reason.com