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Debunking falsehoods about today’s energy crisis – IEA

These translations are done via Google Translate

Many falsehoods are being spread about the current global energy crisis. Our Executive Editor Fatih Birol rebutted three of the most damaging ones in a recent opinion article published by the Financial Times, stressing the importance of separating fact from fiction at this perilous time.

The first fallacy is that Russia is winning the energy battle. Russia may have benefitted from spikes in oil and gas prices triggered by its invasion of Ukraine, but any short-term gain from rising export revenue is more than offset by the long-term loss of both trust and markets. Moscow has alienated the European Union, its largest customer, and sanctions on its oil and gas sector will hurt its future ability to exploit its resources by cutting access to vital technologies.

The second mistaken idea is that the global energy crisis is a clean energy crisis. Dr Birol says energy policy makers don’t complain to him about relying too much on clean energy. On the contrary, they regret not having moved faster on solar, wind and energy efficiency. When people misleadingly blame clean energy and climate policies for today’s global energy crisis, they are, intentionally or not, moving the spotlight away from the real culprits – the gas supply crunch and Russia, he says.

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The third false narrative is that the current energy crisis will set back efforts to tackle climate change. But today’s crisis is a reminder of the unsustainability of our reliance on fossil fuels and can be a key turning point to move faster towards a cleaner, more affordable and more secure energy system. The Inflation Reduction Act in the United States, the REPowerEU package in Europe and actions by other major economies are clear evidence of the gathering momentum behind clean energy.

There are tough challenges ahead, especially during the coming winter. But after winter comes spring, Dr Birol writes. The oil shocks of the 1970s spurred vital progress in energy efficiency, nuclear power, solar and wind – and there’s no reason today’s energy crisis can’t drive even greater positive changes.

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