Why The War in Ukraine Did Not Break Europe's Fossil Fuel Addiction

Global Dispatches -- World News That Matters

25-09-2023 • 26 min

When Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, there was a brief moment when it seemed possible that this crisis might inspire European governments to turn away from fossil fuels. Russia was a huge supplier of natural gas to many European markets, and with those supplies suddenly cut off, there was an opportunity to replace Russian fossil fuel with clean energy.

That did not happen. In fact, just the opposite occurred. According to research by my guest today Jeff Colgan, European investments in clean energy fell precipitously following Russia's invasion of Ukraine as governments scrambled for fossil fuels. Jeff Colgan is the Richard Holbrooke Professor of Political Science at Brown University and co-author of a new report, "Letting Europe’s Energy Crisis Go to Waste: The Ukraine War’s Massive Fossil Fuel Costs Fail to Accelerate Renewables'

We kick off discussing the state of Europe's energy transition from fossil fuels to renewables prior to Russia's invasion of Ukraine and then have an extended conversation about how and why Europe doubled down on Fossil fuels during the energy crisis that followed.