How Europe ditched Russian fossil fuels with spectacular speed

By Will Mathis and Akshat Rathi

21 Feb 2023 · 8 min read

Over 2022, Europe shifted from Russia from being its biggest source of energy to being a small scale player. Bloomberg provides us with a detailed explanation on how Europe managed such a huge change.

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Europe’s most remarkable response to Russia’s war on Ukraine hasn’t been marshaling military equipment and billions of euros in aid. It’s been the unprecedented speed of an energy transition that in one year has nearly eliminated its dependence on Russian fossil fuels in an attempt to strangle the key source of funding for President Vladimir Putin’s war machine.

The shift has been far from the kind of climate-first transition that Europe has envisioned for its long-term future, with governments paying whatever it takes to secure liquefied sources of natural gas brought in by ships, burning more coal and ripping up some environmental plans in the process. And it’s been painful, with Europe getting hit by a roughly $1 trillion energy bill last year, cushioned by hundreds of billions of euros of government subsidies.

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