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The End of Europe’s Clean-Energy Evangelism

Europe’s pleas to energy producers in the Global South to help it reduce its dependence on Russia have probably prompted more than a few eye rolls. After all, countries across the developing world have endured years of proselytizing from Europe about the importance of making rapid progress toward a carbon-free energy future.

MADRID – Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war against Ukraine has served Europe a heaping dose of energy realism. While the European Union was touting a “no pain, all gain” transition to renewable energy, many of its industries – particularly in Germany – had developed a debilitating dependence on cheap Russian gas. This revelation should be the first step toward a more realistic – and less dogmatic – European approach not only to its own energy transition, but also to that in the Global South.