Why nations lead or lag in energy transitions
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has disrupted energy markets, producing price spikes reminiscent of the 1970s. Many suggest that the crisis may accelerate transitions away from fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Yet, governments have responded very differently to the price shock. Though some are prioritizing clean energy, others are doubling down on fossil fuel production. Why do countries respond so differently to the same problem? Access to domestic fossil fuel resources is only part of the story. Countries also vary in the political sources that enable transformational change in energy and climate policy (1, 2). We draw on two historical episodes illustrating variation in energy transitions across countries—the 1970s oil shocks, and policies to address climate change—to offer important lessons on the political opportunities and constraints for policy-makers across different countries to accelerate the transition to clean energy.
Jonas Meckling , Phillip Y. Lipscy, Jared J. Finnegan, And Florence Metz. Science, 6 Oct 2022 Vol 378, Issue 6615, pp. 31-33, DOI: 10.1126/science.adc9973