The west can cut its energy dependency on Russia and be greener

(The Guardian, 3 May 2022) The Ukraine war has focused minds on win-win policies from ending coal and oil subsidies to raising petrol taxes on petrol.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has amplified the importance of national-security considerations in western countries’ energy policies. At the same time, governments must continue to focus on reducing environmental damage – in particular, on cutting greenhouse-gas emissions. Both goals, geopolitical and environmental, are urgent and should be evaluated together.

These two objectives are not necessarily in conflict, as some believe. There are plenty of energy measures the west can adopt that would benefit the environment and further its geopolitical aims. The most obvious steps, especially for the European Union, are sanctions that reduce demand for imports of fossil fuels from Russia.

A review of different areas of energy policy reveals further options. Here, I emphasise the dos and don’ts that seem to be clear win-win choices, as opposed to policy decisions where tradeoffs are acute and reasonable observers may disagree.

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The Guardian, 3 May 2022: The west can cut its energy dependency on Russia and be greener