Russia profits from Greta
Russia, the world’s biggest gas producer after America, owes Greta Thunberg a debt of gratitude for her role in sky-high gas prices.
Russia’s state-owned energy giant Gazprom supplies around 35% of Europe’s gas requirements, which means its export revenues could be set to soar.
UK wholesale gas prices retreated from record highs after Russia confirmed it was boosting supplies to the continent. The move was a show of Putin’s relative strength amid the chaos in Europe.
"When Putin's promises help calm the storm of rising prices which was pummelling financial markets, it's clear investors are desperate for any gust of good news blowing in," said Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.
The causes of the gas shortage in Europe are multi-faceted, including raised global demand on the back of the pandemic.
The energy crisis, the coming winter weather and the release of pent-up pandemic demand have sent nations scrambling to stockpile fossil fuels, a move that portends a rebound for global carbon dioxide emissions this year. https://t.co/a8vkhbSnCm— Bloomberg Energy (@BloombergNRG) October 10, 2021
But, how did Greta Thunberg, the Swedish environmental activist, play a role in gas shortages causing energy prices to reach record levels?
At an EU leaders’ summit last week, Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez demanded the EU take action to avert a full-blown crisis in its gas market, amid a surge in energy prices. @DaveKeating reports in the latest Europe Decoder newsletter. https://t.co/OeOIbEhw3d— World Politics Review (@WPReview) October 10, 2021
Another key reason for raised prices is Europe’s eagerness to transition towards the more politically palatable renewable sources of energy, championed voraciously by Thunberg et al.
The move has made the continent vulnerable to non-favourable weather conditions, highlighting the limits of renewables in more temperate regions on earth.
Lesson from Europe Energy Crisis— Stock Pile (@JaiHindKB) October 10, 2021
Be careful in migrating faster to renewables. Keep coal/gas for vital loads. Use renewables as filler. Coal &Gas plants should run till renewables prove secured supply. When sun dont shine n wind doesnt blow only Gas/ Coal could help https://t.co/r953JHRy8s
As a result of radical environmentalists getting their way, politicians across Europe have been left scrambling to be seen to do something to fix the respective crises in their nations.
European politicians will now have to find a balance between the possibility of sustained price rises, unhappy citizens and their longer-term goals of decarbonising.
In the meantime, Putin will be rubbing his hands together at the prospect of benefiting economically and geo-politically from higher gas prices, and he has Greta Thunberg to thank.