What does the Russian oil ban mean for the clean energy transition?

(Inside Climate News, 8 Mar 2022) President Biden announced today that the United States was banning all imports of Russian oil, gas and coal, the latest in a series of severe economic sanctions being waged against President Vladimir Putin for his unprovoked war in Ukraine

The United Kingdom also announced its own plan to phase out Russian oil and oil products by the end of the year.

But breaking ties with Russia’s energy supply is the easy part. It’s what comes next that will be difficult, policy experts say. And exactly how Western countries choose to shift away from Russian fossil fuels will have major implications for the climate.

As the Ukraine conflict puts a squeeze on an already volatile energy market, it is reigniting a decades-old argument over the importance of energy independence and the role renewable energy, such as solar and wind, should play in achieving it.

In the United States, those in the debate have largely fallen into two camps. On one side, two senators from fossil-fuel producing states—Joe Manchin, D-W.Va, and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska—are leading an effort to replace Russian energy imports by increasing domestic production of oil and gas.

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Inside Climate News, 8 Mar 2022: What does the Russian oil ban mean for the clean energy transition?