"How Spiking Energy Prices Complicate the Fight Against Global Warming"

"Oil and gas prices are soaring, while coal use is reaching record highs worldwide. Here’s what the upheaval could mean for climate policies across the globe."

"WASHINGTON — While world leaders have vowed to scale back the use of fossil fuels to help keep a lid on global warming, a drastic upheaval in the markets for oil, natural gas and coal could complicate the shift toward cleaner sources of energy.

Global oil prices have soared to their highest level in seven years, nearing $90 per barrel, as fears grow of a Russian invasion of Ukraine. Europe is in the grips of a severe natural gas crunch that has roiled energy markets worldwide. And global demand for coal, the dirtiest of all fossil fuels, has surged to record highs as economies bounce back from pandemic lows.

There’s a broader lesson here, energy experts said. Even as governments and businesses invest in low-carbon energy sources like wind and solar power, the world will remain deeply reliant on fossil fuels for years to come. Unless that transition is carefully managed, many countries could face volatile energy prices and other disruptions that, in turn, threaten to undermine support for policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions."

Brad Plumer reports for the New York Times February 2, 2022.

Source: NYTimes, 02/03/2022