How the spike in energy prices complicates the fight against global warming

In the United States, rising gasoline prices – currently averaging $3.40 per gallon, a dollar more than a year ago – have been a drag on President Biden’s approval ratings, who are struggling to convince Congress to pass climate policies to reduce fossil fuel emissions. At the same time, the Biden administration has defended moves to issue new oil and gas licenses on public lands, despite those efforts. has been slowed down by the federal courts.

But high oil prices aren’t always bad news for clean energy. For example, they can also reduce oil demand by motivating people to buy electric cars that don’t need gas. Last year, electric cars accounted for 20% of all new sales in Europe and 15% of new sales in China. according to BloombergNEFa research group.

In recent months, the world has struggled with soaring prices of natural gas, a fuel used in both power plants and home heating. caused a ripple effect across the globe. Utility bills have skyrocketed from Italy to South Korea, while fertilizer plants in the UK and Germany have had to cut operations. (Natural gas is the main ingredient in nitrogen-based fertilizers.)

The causes of the gas crisis are many: Global demand has recovered faster than supply since the pandemic began; lower output from hydroelectric dams in China and Brazil has resulted in a sharp increase in gas imports; A cold snap last spring across Europe boosted demand and reduced gas inventories.

The crisis is particularly acute in Europe, where natural gas prices are now five times higher than they were a year ago. The officials are race to buy new gas shipments from abroad in the case of Russia, which supplies a third of Europe’s natural gas, cuts off supplies in the event of a conflict over Ukraine.

There are also signs of gas crunch can destroy unity in the European Union on climate change policies.

Officials are currently debating a new set of clean energy measures aimed at cutting emissions by 2030. Some countries, such as Spain, have called for a faster transition away from fossil fuels to reduce Europe’s exposure to gas markets. But other countries, like Poland, urged a delay in more stringent climate actions in the midst of the crisis.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/02/climate/oil-prices-climate-change.html How the spike in energy prices complicates the fight against global warming

Fry Electronics Team

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