Human suffering: War vs Climate Change
March 20th, 2022
In the context of the brutal and appalling invasion of Ukraine by Russia, I have been reading a few articles from influential people around the globe on the “huge mistake” committed by some European countries (and EU as a whole) on trying to speed up the “green agenda” and thus leading to a higher dependency on energy supplies from other sources, especially Russian oil and gas.
I want this message to be short and clear on what I think: I fully disagree with the arguments. Europe has always been dependent on outside energy sources (especially after the phase-out of the Norwegian Oil and Gas). The situation Europe is facing now would not at all be significantly different if Europe did not follow a courageous and most-needed sustainable agenda. European leadership on the matter is one of the few “hopes” for the Planet to be able to reverse what is now abundantly clear. As the last IPCC report highlights: things are way worse than we thought and the small window of opportunity to avoid catastrophe is closing fast. As Antonio Guterres said, and my colleague Filipa Pires de Almeida stressed in our last Sunday message “I've seen many scientific reports in my time, but nothing like this...”. The only reason why this report did not make the headlines of media around the globe is obviously because of what is going on in Ukraine.
The way I see it and I am sorry to be very assertive and abrupt: delaying the “green agenda” to “protect energy independence” is just switching devastation and human suffering due to weapons to the same devastation and human suffering due to climate change. In terms of casualties and human suffering does anybody doubt where the number would be bigger?
Nuno Moreira da Cruz Executive Director Center for Responsible Business and Leadership