Russian President Vladimir Putin was ranked number one on Politico Europe’s “green” list Tuesday for forcing Europe to transition to green energy following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Politico Europe published the list of 28 politicians and scientists that are accelerating Europe’s “green energy revolution.”
Putin tops the list because he is withholding fossil fuels like natural gas to weaken Europe’s support for Ukraine, thus encouraging countries to switch to renewable energy and furthering the European Union’s climate agenda, Politico explained.
“He [Putin] attacked Europe’s energy system just as an array of cheap and reliable alternatives became realistic,” according to Politico.
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However, solar panels are piling up in European warehouses as there aren’t enough engineers to install them, according to Bloomberg.
Europe is also burning large amounts of coal to stave off energy shortages ahead of winter, according to Business Insider. Coal produces more than double the amount of emissions that natural gas produces, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Russia has continuously cut gas deliveries via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline in response to sanctions imposed by the European Union, causing electricity prices to soar across the continent. Europe is embroiled in an energy crisis and its citizens are resorting to burning firewood to abate its energy crisis as Russian energy supplies continue to be sanctioned and disrupted.
Throughout Europe, companies are chopping down large portions of forests to produce wood pellets to heat homes and businesses, according to The New York Times. The European Union voted in September to continue classifying wood biomass as renewable energy to further its energy security.
Germans are heightening security measures at warehouses stocked with wood to prevent people from stealing as electricity prices skyrocket, according to Bloomberg. Meanwhile, wood pellet prices have nearly doubled to nearly $600 per ton in France, and Hungary has waived conservation laws and banned entities from exporting pellets.
Renewable energy accounted for 22.1% of the EU’s total energy consumption in 2020, and 60% of this green energy was derived from biomass, which includes wood pellets and firewood.
Europe, which imported 45% of its natural gas from Russia in 2021, is also importing substantial amounts of American liquefied natural gas to fight fuel shortages, according to Reuters. The EU’s Green Deal which was approved in 2020 seeks to phase out fossil fuels; however, the energy crisis has forced the EU to label natural gas as green energy.
The head of the United Nations weather agency said on Tuesday that the war in Ukraine “may be seen as a blessing” for the climate as it is encouraging governments to develop green energy technologies, according to the Associated Press.