Since Russia invaded Ukraine, our worldview has shattered.

Concerns about the security of countries create a more powerful and faster mobilization than the climate crisis has managed to do.

What was impossible just a few weeks ago is suddenly fully feasible.

Stopping importing Russian natural gas is an example.

In the new reality that is slowly becoming apparent, Russian natural gas has no place.

As recently as January, EU countries agreed that it was irreplaceable, despite its fossil emissions, and needed for at least another 30 years as a "green energy bridge" towards a carbon-neutral EU.

Despite bitter environmental protests from Austria and Spain, among others, natural gas was classified as a green energy source in the EU's green taxonomy.

But even before the end of the year, two thirds of Russia's natural gas could be gone from European energy pipelines, according to the European Commission's announcement today.

Completely gone by 2030. It is an astonishing conversion, even if the Russian gas is to some extent to be replaced by imports from other countries.

In addition, the European Commission is signaling that the large-scale agricultural subsidies will finance a massive investment in biogas.

It is an excellent fuel for the transport sector that has long been treated like a stepmother in the one-sided focus on electrification.

Bringing forward energy efficiency of houses and installations of solar cells are other measures.

Dependence on Russia

40 percent of all natural gas in the EU comes from Russia.

It sounds like a lot, but of course it is not the same as the EU being 40 percent dependent on Russia for its energy supply.

Take Germany for example.

The German government has been preparing for weeks to replace Russian natural gas. 

"The EU must get rid of its dependence on fossil fuels.

From now on, clean energy will be the same as energy freedom, "said German Finance Minister Christian Lindner this weekend.

Germany is 15 percent dependent on natural gas for its energy supply.

But renewable already accounts for over 40 percent of Germany's energy supply.

The fact that it is approaching summer makes it easier, as natural gas is largely used to heat homes.

Instead, Germany and other countries are looking to the United States, which exports liquefied LNG gas.

A more unexpected proposal was that the energy companies' enormous profits right now should also benefit consumers.

"A broader societal issue"

Blackrock, one of the world's largest fund managers, predicts that the Russia-Ukraine war will accelerate the green transition.

In a recent seminar, one of Blackrock's chief strategists, Ben Powell, stated that "energy is now moving from being a green issue to also becoming a broader societal issue that concerns self-sufficiency and the importance of a resilient energy infrastructure."

But a boycott of natural gas and oil from Russia can not be immediately replaced by renewables, neither in the US nor in the EU.  

The IAEA warns that if Putin throttles all natural gas overnight, countries will be forced to fire with both coal and oil. 

Even before the war, coal had a comeback, an effect of the economic wheels starting to spin after the pandemic.

In the United States, coal-fired power plants have increased their capacity more during President Joe Biden's tenure than during Donald Trump's.

In Europe, coal use has increased by almost 20 percent in 2021. The sky-high prices of natural gas make coal competitive, despite the price of carbon dioxide emissions.  

But all indications are that the return of coal is temporary.

There are no new investments in coal power today.

The political signals are unequivocal.

The war has sharpened the urgency to free oneself from dependence on oil, gas and coal.

The technology already exists

The price of green hydrogen is falling rapidly, so storage of electricity from solar and wind turbines will soon be commercially viable.

The technology already exists.

The European Commission now expects that as the concept of "energy freedom" takes hold, the pace of government investment in renewables will increase. 

Then one can think of the irony that it was not the catastrophic images of those who are currently drowning in Australia's historic floods that accelerated the green transition.  

Instead, another disaster was required, namely the collapse of the European security system.  

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