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ISSN 2753-7757 (Online)

Backsliding towards fossil fuels


6 min read

Stark image of coal plant chimney stacks Photo: Adobe Stock
Several European countries are backtracking on climate change pledges, blaming gas shortages due to the Russian attack on Ukraine

Photo: Adobe Stock

As Russia threatens to stall or cut-off gas supplies next winter, an alarming number of European countries, including the UK, are backtracking on climate pledges – firing up mothballed coal plants temporarily and boosting oil and gas developments. Brian Davis reports.

Can climate plans keep on track? Faced with the threat to limit or cut-off gas supplies from Russia due to the Ukraine war, a growing number of European countries are adopting measures that ‘backslide’ from well-publicised climate change targets.


As a result, European Commission (EC) President Ursula von der Leyen recently warned European Union (EU) members ‘not to backtrack’ on the long-term drive to cut fossil fuels as several nations turn to coal following Russia’s decision to limit their gas supplies.


Others have ramped up gas drilling initiatives, while some governments seem set on u-turns which will greenlight drilling operations that had previously been taken off the table.


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