Power shortages and sky-high natural gas prices are raising very real fears that millions of European households could see blackouts or be unable to afford to stay warm this winter. However, the European Union (EU) has concrete measures at its disposal that would help alleviate this crisis and prevent future crises. The EU can and must diversify its fuel sources to ensure that there will always be enough affordable, clean energy available.
When the world gathers in Glasgow, Scotland, next week for the United Nations climate summit, known as COP26, many climate leaders and activists from Africa and other parts of the developing world will be notably absent as they find it near impossible to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
While this glaring disparity between rich and poor countries concerns health care, it is also a reminder that when it comes to climate change, developed and developing countries have vastly different needs that must be taken into account to put the world on a fair and just path to climate action.
The world is now battling a major energy crisis. Gas and oil price spikes are raging across Europe and the United States, as are coal and power shortages in China and India. While these crises have a common cause — maintaining reliable energy supply during energy transition — China’s power crisis, which has resulted in rationing and industrial production cuts affecting two-thirds of the country’s provinces, is the consequence of unique circumstances.