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Net zero feasibility back in question

Energy shortages are forcing countries back to fossil fuels, putting net zero goals through more jeopardy

It is now a question of priorities at least for energy starved nations; some have officially resumed coal usage to generate power. The industry will also face further backlash from climate activists when fossil fuels demand rebounds.

Practicality cuts both ways
The sanctions have exerted enough damage to world economies. On one end of the spectrum are enterprises finding ways to get around trading sanctions after Russia was removed from SWIFT. The other end lies an army of activists possibly questioning if IMO 2050 will be greatly compromised – short of becoming official headlines.

The Ukraine crisis highlighted Europe’s energy dependence on Russia, which supplies about 40 per cent of the natural gas used to heat its homes and generate electricity. Despite efforts to reduce reliance by sourcing for alternative suppliers or build its own liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants, it will be a few years to see if such steps are effective. As it is, with only 24 plants across European countries, it is not enough to sustain the entire Europe’s energy demand. They still have to import, but buying has gotten trickier. The crisis catalysed a shortage that morphed into the “highest bidder gets the prize” model. While Europe can afford it, the same cannot be said for developing countries. That leaves them no options but to return to coal for power.

It is now a complex cocktail of issues which warrant careful deliberation. Climate issues are though pertinent, the industry is in a fix when business and environmental interests do not align. With a multilateral conflict in progress, maintaining economic health unfortunately has to be above everything else. Putting it in perspective: there is essentially zero means to take on climate initiatives when there are no funds to invest. God forbid that taxes get imposed at the worst times – which are guaranteed to inflict blows more harmful than the 2008 financial crisis.

Marine Online News Team
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