It all seemed to be going really well for Europe’s pathway to a zero emissions future free of fossil fuels and nuclear power. Germany, the engine fueling Europe’s united power, was leading the way in phasing out its use of fossil fuels such as coal-fired power plants. That all changed when America goaded Russia by breaking a promise to never to expand NATO into Ukraine. Russia countered the threat of NATO overlooking its borders by invading Ukraine and the rest is history. The invasion has descended into a proxy war between America and Russia. It is an example of the hegemonic military industrial complex poking the bear.
But anyway, to show its disdain over the invasion, Europe implemented a range of sanctions to target the Russian economy. But it backfired, the Russian economy is buoyant growing faster than Europe while European countries are facing fuel shortages, spiraling living costs, and recession. Despite the estranged relationship, Germany was still buying its gas supply from Russia up until June 2022. That was when Russia finally cut gas exports on the main pipeline feed to Germany by 60 percent in response to European sanctions.
By early July Germany’s two houses of parliament passed emergency legislation to restore mothballed coal-fired power plants to ensure citizens across the country have enough electricity to see through the winter. The motion was backed by the Green Party which forms part of Germany’s current coalition government. Germany’s coal-fired power plants are scheduled to remain in operation for at least two years. At the same time, Germany will increase plans to expand renewable energies.
Germany will not meet its desired goal to phase out fossil fuels by 2030. The green agenda in the face of geo-political reality, hegemonic militarism, and war profiteering has opened a pandora’s box of zero emissions hypocrisy. At the start of the Ukraine proxy war, Germans were being solicited by politicians and media to punish Russia by cutting their use of gas. Germany has ended up punishing itself.
By restarting redundant coal-fired powerplants, Germany’s electric car grid will be primed by fossil fuels, and the most highly polluting of them all… coal. Irony has never looked grimmer. Was the zero-emissions narrative all just pure fantasy? In the face of conflict, yes, to that end the proxy war in Ukraine could and should have been avoided, Russia was always on the higher ground from the beginning.