Energy Transition in Future: Turning Crisis into Opportunity and Striving to Meet Paris Agreement Goals

published Jun 14, 2022
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The Russia-Ukraine war will impact decision-making both in shorter and longer terms and will shape solutions to a wide range of energy, environmental, climate change, geopolitical, and economic issues. Although countries differ in their responses, they share a lot of similarities. In the shorter term, they may have energy security concerns or invest more in fossil fuels, but in the longer term, they will put more investment into renewable energy and efficiency, and speed up their energy transition.

Similarly, the current crisis will affect the low carbon transition from two aspects. On the one hand, it creates barriers, which will, together with the prospect of inflation or even stagflation, produce far-reaching global security issues. The Ukraine war worsens the existing regional and even global energy crises, which will not only impede the carbon neutrality trajectory in many countries, but also reshape the energy and economic outlooks worldwide. On the other hand, crisis drives innovation. Historical experience shows that innovations are often made through reform and policy changes. Faster and more inclusive and resilient innovations can, in turn, supercharge a deeper transition in how we use energy and grow our economy.

Shorter-term acitons and longer-term responses should be linked with a coherent set of policy tools. Contingency fixes, either a temporary coal rebound or an increase of LNG terminals, require effective and systematic mitigation of their long-term carbon emissions locked in. Amid uncertainties, all parties should seek the consensus to create more channels of communication and space for cooperation, and raise efficiency and reduce risks through healthy competition.

It is also essential to optimize our pathway for deep decarbonization, identify priority areas, and figure out coordinated action plans for reducing emissions, ensuring energy security, and achieving sustainable economic growth. It is hoped that with joint efforts, we can achieve a fast, just transition and meet the climate goals set in the Paris Agreement. 

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