Decouple Podcast: Is Russia’s war the end of climate policy as we know it?
Ted Nordhaus, executive director of The Breakthrough Institute, discusses his recent article in Foreign Policy: “Russia’s War Is the End of Climate Policy as We Know It.” The current energy crisis and Russian invasion are quickly causing us to prioritize energy security over climate targets.
Could this, paradoxically, be a good thing for the climate?
Nordhaus argues that the carbon intensity of the global energy system fell faster in the 30 years before the first major U.N. climate conference than after it—a result of rising energy efficiency, the spread of nuclear power, and the changing composition of the global economy.
With new pressure to fortify ourselves against dependence on gas and energy imports, he argues that climate and energy policies, especially in the West, may shift from subsidizing demand (for things like solar panels and electric vehicles) to deregulating supply (of things like nuclear power plants and high-voltage transmission lines). This could put clean energy policies on a much firmer economic footing and better align climate objectives with energy security imperatives.