Climate change plans are out the window as the emergency crisis continues.

Louise Hickey

The war between Russia and Ukraine has led to rising fuel costs. With such an emergency, fossil fuels are being used instead.

Emergency measures have decreased the price of fossil fuels, reduced carbon taxes, and started supporting fertiliser purchases.

The use of coal has increased significantly. According to a Reuters review on the coal imports to the EU, they have risen by nearly 56% in January of this year compared to last year. The information was received through ship tracking data from shipbroker Braemar ACM.

The International Energy Agency said this week that European gas demand is expected to decline by 4.5% this year as coal is cheaper for power generation.

Looking at other affected countries, one example is Britain, which has given a coal mine in Wales permission to increase their current output by 40 million tons over the next two decades.

UK prime minister Boris Johnson believes the West should be given “a climate change pass” to wean off Russian gas supplies.

This sudden reliance on fossil fuels comes directly after COP26 plans made in Glasgow only three months ago. Ireland is also just about to announce the first-ever carbon budget.

The green party is dissatisfied with the return to fossil fuels. They think we should be making use of renewable energy during this time.

Environment minister Eamon Ryan stated that “the best way of putting it up to Mr. Putin is to stop buying the oil, gas, and coal that they’re exporting and that’s what government is focused on”.

Lisa Ryan prof of UCD Energy Institute The priority should be getting out of oil use, especially in transport, while “pushing us more to renewable energy rather than less”

She said she worries social media will promote the fact that there are more pressing issues to worry about than climate change.

Overall Europe gets more than a third of its gas and a quarter of its oil from Russia, so households are struggling with rising inflation.

Despite the increase in reliance on fossil fuels, wind energy is beginning to make a larger impact. Wind energy is increasing month on month and was the most used energy source for electricity in Ireland for February according to the Wind Energy Ireland report.

The report also showed that when the wind is high, wholesale prices fall which may be useful for upcoming months.

Louise Hickey.