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Fuel Shortages a 'Blessing' for the Climate, Says UN

The war in Ukraine "may be seen as a blessing" from a climate perspective, says the head of the UN weather agency.

Sunflowers blooming in a field

The comment from Petteri Taalas, secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organization, refers to the acceleration in green energies prompted by war-related fuel shortages. Last month, the head of the International Renewable Energy Agency made similar comments - albeit with a better choice of words.

"In the mid- and long term, the Ukraine crisis will bring an acceleration to the energy transition because governments finally realise that going for renewables is not only good for the environment, jobs, GDP, but also good for ensuring higher energy independency," said the IREA.

Although some countries have quickly turned to fossil fuels to meet short-term demand, rising prices have also made renewable energies like solar, wind and hydrothermal more competitive in the energy marketplace.

Economic sanctions against key oil and natural gas producer Russia are behind the surge in gas and energy prices. This has prompted an upturn in the use of fossil fuels, and has been a "shock for the European energy sector", according to Taalas.

"From the five-to-10-year timescale, it's clear that this war in Ukraine will speed up... this green transition," he said. "So we are going to invest much more in renewable energy, energy-saving solutions," and some small-scale nuclear reactors are likely to come online by 2030 as "part of the solution", he said.



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