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Russian Oil Embargo Threatens to Exacerbate Climate Change



In early March, the United States announced that it would ban all oil and gas imports from Russia in response to Russia waging war against Ukraine. In response, many European countries have expressed desires to align themselves with U.S. economic policy and limit their dependence on Russian oil. However, these actions could have large impacts on climate change.


These oil bans have led to large increases in gas prices for many consumers all across the world, especially in the U.S. and Europe. As a result, many citizens have faced extreme hardship in affording these new prices. Rising gas prices are putting pressure on U.S. lawmakers to find a quick solution. However, in order to find this quick solution, many lawyers may be less incentivized to maintain long-term environmental goals.


For instance, even though many nations in 2021 pledged to reduce their use of coal for energy, coal has made a huge comeback this year. The reason for this sudden increase in coal usage for producing energy is the fact that rising energy prices have left many countries with no choice.


Additionally, the U.S. and the European Union will likely continue to drill more oil domestically in order to increase the supply. While this solution may solve the problem temporarily for rising gas prices, it will certainly create challenges for the goals set to reduce global greenhouse emissions. Once these new drillings start, it will become harder to reverse this course of action, which will only contribute to climate change.


As of this moment, it is essential to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 if we want to create a healthy planet for future generations. We are already experiencing climate change that may be irreversible. Therefore, it is important to keep our climate change agenda goals in mind when enacting policy in response to the war between Russia and Ukraine.

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