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An odd, narrowly positive consequence of the Ukraine-Russia conflict?

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Christopher Neely's picture
Independent, Local News Organization

Journalist for nearly a decade with keen interest in local energy policies for cities and national efforts to facilitate a renewable revolution. 

  • Member since 2017
  • 755 items added with 372,958 views
  • Jul 29, 2022

Russia's deadly aggression in Ukraine has solidified geopolitical questions more than reshaped them, especially regarding alliances and perceptions of Russia's leadership. Similarly, beyond politics, the war has brought to the fore the nagging, unspoken question of Europe's reliance on Russian energy. The war has also accelerated answers to that question. 

I was delighted to read this morning about Germany's new push for energy efficiency in an effort to make the transition off Russian gas easier. Most seem like small steps, but any journey is one of a million small steps. Cities in the country are reducing energy usage at breweries, dimming street lamps and decreasing office temperatures. 

The effort extends beyond Germany. The European Union agreed this week to cut natural gas use by 15%. According to a New York Times article on the issue: 

"Barcelona is offering home efficiency assessments, while Warsaw is subsidizing homes that replace fossil-burning stoves with heat pumps. In the Meurthe-et-Moselle region of eastern France, a dozen villages have been shutting off their streetlights at midnight."

These efforts at energy efficiency are, of course, a wartime effort. But they could have a lasting impact on the nations' climate goals, primarily if they are directed at minimizing natural gas consumption. 


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