Sorry, environmentalists, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy calls the shots now
By: Rachel Marsden
PARIS — For years, Western leaders have been hyping a “climate emergency”,
telling us how we absolutely must limit any increase in the average temperature
on Earth to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, as
stipulated by the 2015 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)’s
“Paris Agreement”. But now, environmentalists’ pleas are falling on deaf ears as
Western leaders reverse course in order to cater to Ukrainian President
“Climate change is real and human activities, largely the release of polluting gasses from burning fossil fuel (coal, oil, gas), is the main cause,” according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It’s under this pretext that Western manufacturing jobs were offshored so that our leaders could claim reduced industrial emissions while really just shifting the burden elsewhere while also getting a better deal on cheap foreign labor. Out of sight, out of mind, right?
Cheap fossil fuel energy was taken away from us because it was considered environmentally hazardous, and was replaced with costly ideological green projects that have failed to live up to their promises – a fact that even Western countries have had to acknowledge. After shutting down coal plants in favor of renewable energy, Germany was forced to reverse course last year. France did likewise after initially decommissioning nuclear power plants, with President Emmanuel Macron announcing earlier this year that Paris would build 14 new nuclear reactors by 2050 in a “renaissance” of nuclear power.
This absolute failure of Western climate policies, based largely on ideological will, has already forced these countries to recalibrate in favor of pragmatic realism. Still, that hasn’t stopped our leaders from using the climate fight as a pretext for continuing to reach into our wallets with new fees and taxes, all while guilting us into feeling good about it. “Green tax” protests, like those of the Yellow Vest movement in France, or the anti-carbon tax rallies in Canada, have emerged in response.
And even as the European Union was setting up a new scheme for emissions trading last year, fears emerged internally of the backlash that it could spark across member states as a result of rising costs.
Western elites have long sacrificed the economic interests at the altar of an environmentalism that’s virtually useless, given that the IPCC itself has called the 1.5C goal “extremely unlikely.”
The biggest beneficiaries have arguably been select investors in projects that benefited from green funding. When U.S. President Joe Biden took office in 2021 and immediately nixed the Keystone XL pipeline project with Canada — a cornerstone of future North American energy independence — he was pandering to environmentalists and green project investors. But then armed conflict broke out in Ukraine, and suddenly everything changed.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been repeatedly calling on Western nations to stop buying Russian oil and gas that fuels the Russian economy. Biden announced in March that the U.S. would stop importing Russian gas, oil, and coal. That would mean firing up U.S. domestic production. The European Union, which gets 40 percent of its gas from Russia, said that it would also seek to replace Russian fuel. As a result, big oil is back in Europe’s good graces, and environmentalism is shoved aside as new European gas projects get green-lit. Dutch authorities have just issued permits for a new gas drilling joint project between Germany and the Netherlands off the coast of their joint border in the North Sea, after Russia announced that it was cutting off the Dutch gas supply when Amsterdam had refused to pay for the gas in Russian rubles in the wake of anti-Russian EU economic sanctions.
And a British project of the Shell Plc energy company which previously had failed to meet environmental standards was given the go-ahead by the government regulator. The Jackdaw project would also source natural gas in the North Sea off the Scottish coast.
Protesters in Germany shut off crude oil pipelines at the end of April in rejection of new projects and infrastructure plans that are already popping up in response to Zelenskyy’s demands of the EU. Environmental groups have also staged protests in Edinburgh, with Greenpeace accusing the British government of “turbocharging the climate crisis” with the Jackdaw project.
Thanks to Zelenskyy, big oil and gas projects are once again the future in the West, which has found a new ideology to replace environmentalism: Ukrainism. So either it looks like environmentalists will be stuck choosing between getting onboard with the latest obsession, or else risk being accused of siding with Putin.
COPYRIGHT 2022 RACHEL MARSDEN