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Weaponised energy and climate change: assessing Europe’s response to the Ukraine war

Falkner, Robert ORCID: 0000-0001-9990-6926 (2023) Weaponised energy and climate change: assessing Europe’s response to the Ukraine war. LSE Public Policy Review, 3 (1). ISSN 2633-4046

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Identification Number: 10.31389/lseppr.78


Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has produced the biggest energy shock to Europe since the 1970s oil crises. It has also laid bare the strategic blunder at the heart of Europe’s energy policy – its long-standing dependence on Russian supplies. With Moscow weaponising its dominant position in Europe’s energy system, European leaders had little choice but to wean Europe off its addiction to cheap Russian gas and oil. This article explores the European Union’s energy response to the war in Ukraine and its impact on climate policy. It addresses two questions: First, to what extent has Europe succeeded in reducing reliance on Russian fossil fuels, and at what cost? And second, how has the push for energy independence affected the continent’s commitment to implementing the net zero transition? I argue that one year after the invasion, the EU’s strategic decoupling from Russia has progressed to such an extent that Moscow is close to losing its energy stranglehold over Europe. Furthermore, although Europe’s energy crisis is far from over, European leaders have renewed their commitment to the net zero climate agenda and accelerated investments in green energy. In the short run, the EU’s pursuit of energy security may have temporarily set back its climate ambition. However, as Europe discovered by the end of 2022, decarbonisation is ultimately the best long-term strategy for energy security.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author
Divisions: International Relations
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2023 09:27
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 04:14

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