TechnologyFriday 03.11.22

Confronting Two Crises: Climate Change and the War in Ukraine

Putin’s war chest is largely built on Russia’s oil empire, a fact that also has lasting implications for our rapidly warming planet. The same week that Russia invaded Ukraine, the IPCC released its latest report, something UN Secretary-General António Guterres called “an atlas of human suffering and a damning indictment of failed climate leadership.” There’s no doubt that cutting ties with Russian oil makes geopolitical sense: the country earned $165 billion dollars from oil and natural gas exports in 2021 alone, and the industry makes up nearly 1/5th of its GDP. But in times of deep crisis lies opportunity. With Western countries and companies both cutting ties with the Russian petro industry, the U.S. could finally tackle some of the Biden administration’s climate goals. But that’s not what’s happening. With U.S. politicians and lobbyists clamoring for increased oil production at home rather than investments in green energy, we are hurtling towards another disaster of our own making.

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