Will Net Zero Carbon be sacrificed in favor of economic growth? - ERDAL TANAS KARAGÖL

Will Net Zero Carbon be sacrificed in favor of economic growth?

As Russia's military operation in Ukraine drags on, energy supply security has become one of the most important issues on the world's agenda. The question of how best to ensure energy supply security is one of the most strategic issues for several countries, since Russia as an exporter of oil and natural gas, is primarily a supplier to European countries, and Moscow has managed to weaponize this fact.

On the one hand, the interruption of natural gas flow to countries such as Poland, Finland, Bulgaria, and the Netherlands, all of which refused to pay Russia in rubles, on the other, the possibility of interruption of the flow of natural gas to other European countries have both increased the degree of uneasiness in gas supply security.

Due to the interruption in the natural gas flow from Russia to Germany due to the maintenance of the latest Nord Stream 1 project, and if this disruption continues, the security of the supply of natural gas for the next winter period has become the most important agenda item of many European countries, particularly Germany.


For this reason, for the coming winter months, the primary measures that stand out are the full use of natural gas storage capacities, increasing the limited number of LNG reserves, cutting back on the use of natural gas use and returning to fossil fuels that have been abandoned.


A NEW SEARCH FOR OLD RESOURCES?


Recently, a new search for energy supply security in European states has made headlines. To the point where we have arrived at a time where the return to fossil fuels, especially coal which was almost abandoned to combat climate change, is being voiced.


It is no secret that relying on fossil fuels again is also on the agenda, which runs contrary to the targets set by European countries in the fight against climate change and the strategy documents they have announced.


In addition to the use of existing coal resources for energy supply security in the short and medium term, for example, the fact that 70% of the electricity consumed in France is generated from nuclear plants, shows that both fossil fuels and nuclear energy resources will be used at this juncture.


In fact, it is clear that France's taking action for the construction of a new nuclear reactor in the coming years, which contradicts the 2050 net zero carbon target.


NET ZERO CARBON OR ECONOMIC GOALS?


In both developed and developing countries, economic growth, and thus GDP, is strongly dependent on energy consumption. This strong correlation between energy consumption and GDP becomes more important for developing countries. Because production in developing countries depends on energy consumption.

Since the problem of possible energy supply security has become a threat to the economies of certain countries, it is expected that a return to fossil fuels will be made for the short term, although it contradicts the goal of combating climate change, which was adopted by numerous countries that are dependent on foreign energy.

Due to recession fears in global economies and the high inflation caused by rising energy prices, the answer to the question of choosing between net zero carbon targets, economic growth, or low inflation is thought to lean heavily toward economic growth and low inflation.

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