AP

Weather chief: Ukraine war may be ‘blessing’ for climate

Oct 11, 2022, 6:36 AM | Updated: 3:23 pm

GENEVA (AP) — The head of the U.N. weather agency says the war in Ukraine “may be seen as a blessing” from a climate perspective because it is accelerating the development of and investment in green energies over the longer term — even though fossil fuels are being used at a time of high demand now.

The comments from Petteri Taalas, secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organization, came as the world is facing a shortfall in energy needs — prompted in part by economic sanctions against key oil and natural gas producer Russia — and prices for fossil fuels have risen.

That has led some countries to turn quickly to alternatives like coal. But rising prices for carbon-spewing fuels like oil, gas and coal have also made higher-priced renewable energies like solar, wind and hydrothermal more competitive in the energy marketplace.

The energy crunch has also led many big consuming countries in Europe and beyond to initiate conservation measures, and talk of rationing has emerged in some places.

Taalas acknowledged that the war in Ukraine has been a “shock for the European energy sector,” and has prompted an upturn in the use of fossil energies.

“From the five- to 10-year timescale, it’s clear that this war in Ukraine will speed up our consumption of fossil energy, and it’s speeding up this green transition,” Taalas said.

“So we are going to invest much more in renewable energy, energy-saving solutions,” and some small-scale nuclear reactors are likely to come online by 2030 as “part of the solution,” he said.

“So from climate perspective, the war in Ukraine may be seen as a blessing,” Taalas added.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and other leaders in the U.N. system have repeatedly made the point “that as well as the tragic human impacts, the conflict underscores the rising costs of the world’s fossil fuel addiction, and the urgent need to accelerate the shift to renewables, to protect people and planet,” U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

Taalas was speaking as WMO issued a new report that said the supply of electricity from cleaner sources of energy needs to double within the next eight years to curb an increase in global temperatures.

The latest “State of Climate Services” annual report — based on contributions from 26 different organizations — focuses this year on energy.

Taalas said the energy sector currently is responsible for about three-quarters of emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases, and he called for a “complete transformation” of the global energy system.

He warned that climate change is affecting electricity generation — and it could have an increasing impact in the future. Among the risks, nuclear plants that rely on water for cooling could be affected by water shortages, and some are located in coastal areas that are vulnerable to sea-level rise or flooding.

In its report, WMO noted that in 2020, some 87% or global electricity generated from thermal, nuclear and hydroelectric systems — which produce less CO2 than plants run by fossil fuels — depended on water availability.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

A Boeing 737 Max suffered damage to parts of the plane's structure after it went into a “Dutch ro...

Associated Press

Plane that did ‘Dutch roll’ on flight from Phoenix suffered structural damage, investigators say

A Boeing 737 Max suffered damage to parts of the plane's structure after it went into a “Dutch roll” during a flight from Phoenix last month.

4 days ago

This photo provided by Randy Shannon shows Mooney Falls on the Havasupai reservation outside the vi...

Associated Press

Dozens report illness after trips to waterfalls near Grand Canyon

Dozens of hikers say they fell ill during trips to a popular Arizona tourist destination that features towering blue-green waterfalls deep in a gorge neighboring Grand Canyon National Park.

5 days ago

Mugshot of Rudy Giuliani, who was processed Monday, June 10, 2024, in the Arizona fake electors cas...

Associated Press

Rudy Giuliani posts $10K cash bond after being processed in Arizona fake electors case

Rudy Giuliani, a former New York City mayor and Donald Trump attorney, was processed Monday in the Arizona fake electors case.

8 days ago

FILE - White House former chief of staff Mark Meadows speaks with reporters at the White House, Wed...

Associated Press

Former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows pleads not guilty in Arizona fake elector case

Former Donald Trump presidential chief of staff Mark Meadows and Trump 2020 Election Day operations director Michael Roman pleaded not guilty Friday in Phoenix to nine felony charges for their roles in an effort to overturn Trump's Arizona election loss to Joe Biden.

11 days ago

deadly heat wave last summer...

Associated Press

After a deadly heat wave last summer, metro Phoenix is changing tactics

Fresh memories of the deadly heat wave last summer have led Arizona authorities to launch new tactics ahead of summer 2024.

22 days ago

A Yuma man has been arrested for allegedly starting a wildfire in a national wildlife preserve near...

Associated Press

Man accused of starting wildfire in national wildlife preserve in Yuma

A Yuma man has been arrested for allegedly starting a wildfire in a national wildlife preserve near the California border.

22 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

Weather chief: Ukraine war may be ‘blessing’ for climate