Predatory Climate Delay Wins Again; EU Natgas Seen Green, But Carbon Surges to Record, Showing Gas Isn’t Green (3)

Comment by Mathew Carr

Feb. 2-3, 2022: Those seeking to delay climate action are still winning.

Reuters says this of new “taxonomy” rules proposed by the European Commission that are designed to limit greenwash and guide the energy transition:

To win the green label …

Gas plants must switch to run on low-carbon gases by 2035. A requirement in a previous draft, for plants to start switching in 2026, was dropped.

CarrZee: If this is partly what Russia was seeking to achieve by massing troops on its borders with Ukraine, it succeeded! Link to Reuters story here:

European carbon prices surged Wednesday to record levels, as demand for fossil-fuel-fired power seems more assured for the next 14 years.

Why do I say predatory?

Russia’s Mr Putin wins more demand for longer for his natural gas (as do other suppliers including Qatar, USA, Australia, for instance). The troop buildup created a spectre of war, which helped boost market prices during the past four months, including for crude oil. That further enriched Russia and other suppliers.

A more logical policy response in Europe to the troop buildup would have been to limit the use of gas even more in the 15 years through 2035. But that might have started war.

The big losers from a slower EU climate transition? Almost everyone on earth, other than those selling fossil fuels.

Still, natural gas is important for the energy transition because gas-fired power is usually more flexible than that provided by dirtier coal. Gas plants can boost output and cut it to fill supply gaps left by intermittent solar and wind power.

Predators Win (So Do Carbon Allowance Owners): Intraday Chart Shows Record Levels

Euros / MWh

2-Year Chart

Natural gas prices were little changed Wednesday.

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