EU ignites environmentalists by redefining ‘green’ energy — RT World News
For years, the Western world has seen benefits in new green and renewable energy sectors and has sung from its hymnbook about the need to reduce carbon footprints by switching from fossil fuels, or avoiding a potential Chernobyl-like environmental catastrophe by abandoning nuclear power. Western officials would either lend an ear to their citizens or drag them kicking and screaming to a new world filled with dubious, executable green dreams – all for the supposed purpose of keeping the Earth’s temperature from falling. increase by 1.2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Good luck controlling the temperature of your own room to within a degree for an indefinite amount of time, let alone that of the entire planet. Yet officials accepted the pretense of going green, however dubious, and continued with their new investments and projects. The European Green Deal was a centerpiece of Western strategy, with 1,800 billion euros of investment.
It is now clear that the EU failed to step up its plans in time to offset the disastrous energy crisis caused by its genius decision to sanction its own gas supply from Russia in order to stick it to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Unfortunately for the EU’s biggest economy, Germany, it had bet a little too much of its tokens on domestic green projects with no obvious alternative to its reliance on energy imports (and in particular Russian gas) to power Europe’s main industrial engine.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has since scrambled – burning phone lines from Qatar to Canada – to try to find alternative sources, with no immediate solution in sight. Meanwhile, German industry is warning of shutdowns as authorities brace for energy and water rationing and what promises to be a very harsh and precarious winter.
Berlin cannot even collect repaired parts from Canada for its own joint Nord Stream 1 pipeline with Russia due to Western anti-Russian sanctions blocking their shipment. Of course, there is another option literally lying around: Gazprom’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which was sanctioned by Washington in a coup against the EU economy even before the Ukraine conflict. Germany refuses to light it. Because, what’s a little national energy emergency when you can force Putin to flip a switch to redirect gas to another client nation-state, right? That’ll teach him, that’s for sure.
Nearby, in France, officials of the EU’s second economic engine encouraged Western solidarity and anti-Russian sanctions, while Paris quietly took advantage of its position as the top importer of Russian liquefied natural gas.
If the hypocrisy of footsie under the table with Russia while whispering sweet promises of more weapons to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky wasn’t fun enough, the EU also tried to find a way back. to old energy habits while pretending they’re still on a green path.
Sanctions-induced energy shortages amid the conflict in Ukraine have created an even more desperate need to turn around the limits of green and renewable energy. Which explains why the European Parliament voted this month to officially shift the targets on what constitutes green energy by simply changing the labeling of gas and nuclear energy investments to “green”. We almost have to pity the environmentalists. And after? Will Germany’s recent return to dirty coal in its desperation for energy sources soon be reclassified as green as well? At this rate, nothing surprising.
Imagine being an environmentalist in a Kafkaesque conversation with an EU official who tries to tell you that fossil fuels are now « green », as is a potential future Chernobyl, even though their official policy has long been the exact opposite. You would feel like you were gassed the same way a partner would claim you must have imagined you saw another person’s text messages on their phone.
Some officials are at least trying to pretend to stick to their climate agenda, while backtracking hard and fast on the strategy in reality. Maybe they’re hoping people don’t notice or care too much in the midst of such a severe and costly energy shortage. German Economy Minister Robert Habeck is apparently one of those responsible. “On the one hand, the climate crisis is reaching its climax. On the other hand, Russia’s invasion shows how important it is to phase out fossil fuels and promote the expansion of renewable energy. Habeck said in April.
But that lofty position was before the impact of the EU’s own sanctions sent its member states scrambling – straight to all available fossil fuels.
Changing semantics to suit economic interests to the chagrin of environmentalists arguably started with Paris. Before the Ukraine conflict, France had long felt the heat of environmentalists over its nuclear power plants, which were neglected and left to corrode, with a view to phasing them out and closing them, to replace them with greener renewable energy. But then French President Emmanuel Macron solved the problem of the country’s nuclear image and dependency earlier this year by successfully lobbying the European Commission to draft a proposal labeling nuclear energy and the gas as green, just in time for Macron to promote a new French « nuclear renaissanceand building 14 new nuclear reactors in his re-election campaign.
What was dirty is now magically clean, and what was the dirty past is now a bright future – all in the blink of an eye. Move over wind turbines and solar panels – the future of sustainable clean energy is natural gas fossil fuel and nuclear reactors in what is clearly a triumph of pragmatism over ideology.
As Berlin, Paris and other European capitals struggle to replace Russian gas while looking ahead to a winter of potential energy shortages, all bets are off. Sorry, environmentalists. The EU no longer has the luxury of wallpapering while the house burns down.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.