Friday 4 November 2022

Global Energy Chief That Told Countries Not To Invest In Fossil Fuels Is Now Sounding The Alarm On Europe’s Gas Crisis

 Head of the International Energy Agency (IEA) Fatih Birol is warning Europe that it may not have enough natural gas to keep warm in winter 2023, according to the Financial Times. However, Birol has consistently discouraged the production and use of fossil fuels in order to meet his agency’s climate targets.

Birol said that there could be a severe lack of natural gas during 2023’s winter months as previously imported Russian gas supplies will have run out and further Russian imports are unlikely, according to the FT. The IEA told global governments and businesses in May 2021 to not build any new oil or gas facilities as part of an effort to significantly reduce carbon emissions by 2050.

“There is a looming risk … we think gas markets will still be tight and volatile, Birol told the FT. “This is an alarm bell for next winter as we believe we need to take immediate action now to avoid a shortage next year.”

Birol also discouraged the long-term use of oil and gas in May despite international fuel shortages, according to Reuters. In January, Birol claimed that more investment in solar, wind and nuclear power are needed to prevent future energy crises.

Green energy accounted for 17% of the Europe Union’s (EU) energy production in 2020, while fossil fuels accounted for 59%, according to Eurostat.

Europe’s natural gas supplies have been put under further pressure after the Nord Stream pipelines were sabotaged in late September, rendering them unable to deliver Russian gas to Europe. Russia has also reduced gas deliveries to Europe in response to EU sanctions that were levied following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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