The war in Ukraine upended energy markets. What does that mean for the climate?
As world leaders, chief executives and nonprofit leaders descend on Davos, Switzerland, for the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum this week, war will be raging about 1,000 miles away.
Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine almost one year ago has reordered the geopolitical landscape, sent ripples through the global economy and brought trench warfare back to Europe.
Yet beyond the enormous human suffering and catastrophic damage inflicted on Ukraine, its people and its cities, one of the war’s most profound impacts has been on global energy markets, and by extension, on the fight against climate change.
For much of the last year, the effects of war sent energy prices soaring in many parts of the world, with Europe hit particularly hard.
European countries began weaning themselves off Russian fossil fuels in a bid to inflict pain on President Vladimir V. Putin’s economy. Even without that market, Russia remains an energy giant. And coal has had a resurgence, subduing hopes for meeting goals to rein in greenhouse gas emissions.
Yet the outlook is not all grim, and nearly a year into the war, the story is not so simple.