Feels Like We Only Go Backwards

Feels like we only go backwards is a song from Australian music group Tame Impala’s second albüm, Lonerism, released in 2012. The title of this wonderful song, I think, sums up very well the disappointment felt in the world now when it comes to fighting against climate change.

The war between Russia and Ukraine, which started on February 24, seems to have significantly slowed down the green transformation in energy. Natural gas is considered as an intermediate form in the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy – Let me remind you that the European Parliament’s regulation to accept natural gas and nuclear energy as “sustainable” has been sued by non-governmental organizations, including Greenpeace[1] –  and after the war between Russia and Ukraine, the disruptions happened in the natural gas provided by Russia to EU countries seem to have led EU member states to use other fossil fuels.

Although European Union’s natural gas consumption decreased by eleven percent in the first half of the year, consumption of fuel fossils which generates much more carbon emissions than natural gas boosted; oil consumption increased by eight percent, coal consumption surged by 7 percent and lignite consumption rose by 12 percent[2]. This situation causes the European Union’s carbon emissions to increase by two percent in the first half of the year, which shows that the opposite of what was targeted in the fight against climate change has been “achieved”.

This is not the only problem that combating against climate change faces recently. Even the gas leak from the Nord Stream pipeline explosion on September 26 has polluted the environment to the same extent as burning 630,000 pounds of coal per hour[3]. According to the United Nations, this is the biggest single methane leak ever detected.

LNG prices in the world will increase because of the fact that the European Union will meet its natural gas demand with LNG from the USA, Qatar and Australia. In the face of rising LNG prices, countries such as India and Pakistan, which were able to import LNG at lower prices in the past, are likely to have problems in such supplies and therefore turn to much more polluting energy sources such as coal[4].

As a result, it is clear that the fight against climate change has taken its toll lately. However, for our common future, the appetite for the fight against climate change should not decrease even for a moment.

[1] https://www.reuters.com/business/environment/greenpeace-takes-legal-action-over-eus-green-label-gas-nuclear-2022-09-19/

[2] https://www.ft.com/content/3c44c7b6-c439-4b28-bf3c-4f420cdfa404

[3] https://www.trtworld.com/europe/baltic-pipeline-gash-may-mark-biggest-single-methane-leak-ever-detected-61263

[4] https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/energy/what-lng-can-and-cant-do-to-replace-europes-imports-of-russian-gas/2022/03/11/50731200-a177-11ec-9438-255709b6cddc_story.html

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