Russia turns off natural gas tap to Europe. Little Future Energy Planning at Play

Amid disputes over fuel prices and allegations by Russia that the Ukraine has been stealing natural gas intended for Europe, Russia’s major natural gas supplier has turned off the taps to many of it’s pipelines.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/7812860.stm

Eastern Europeans are already feeling the cold from this most recent shortage in fuel supply.  Without other significant fuel choice options to produce heat, those affected are often being forced to live through these frigid conditions.

Experts and political leaders from around Europe are highlighting this dispute between Russia and the Ukraine as the turning point needed for the EU to get serious about addressing its energy security challenges.  Given the declining fossil fuel resource base in Europe, steadily increasing demand, and the likelihood of more energy-related disputes between Russia and the Ukraine in the future, the EU will need to make some bold moves to avoid future energy shortages, especially shortages that have the potential to being much more severe.

An expert interviewed on BBC Worldnews last night speculated on the need for the EU to support the development of natural gas pipelines from Asia that take alternate delivery routes, avoiding the Ukraine.  While this may reduce Europe’s exposure to the current Russia-Ukraine conflict, it leaves Europe vulnerable to other regional conflicts that have a likelihood of developing in the foreseeable future.  It also does nothing to address Europe’s biggest problem here, energy dependance.

A reactionary approach to the current situation, such as developing an alternative pipeline route , would only create a short term solution to the problem, at best. 

The EU needs to look at this issue as the final motivator to rapidly transitioning into a fully renewable, energy efficient, and energy independent region.  Until these options are brought into the foreground of the energy supply debate, we will be continually at the mercy of repeated geo-political disputes in neighbouring regions.

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About derm

I have a job in Scotland, working on business and climate change. With a passion for and graduate schooling in whole-systems sustainability from Sweden, I try to keep my hand on the pulse of the sustainability world through various side-projects with friends and peers. I've written reports on water, on true costing of food and natural resources, responsible investing, and on global organizational networks. I love hill running, probably because I left all the powder skiing back in British Columbia. I also love seeing things grow and looking at something familiar with new eyes. I think I could live happily for a year on pizza and nachos, although I'd prefer to not find out. I believe wild animals have a message for us, and it may be something to do with the fact that they've been getting a bum deal on this planet lately. When I was little I believed that there was someone special out there for each and everyone of us. I still believe that. I know world is a complex place, and feel that open and honest communication is probably one of the few sure ways to lead us to success.
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