This “will not be easy,” said Paolo Gentiloni, the EU’s top economic official. But, he added, “it can be done.” In the near-term, ending energy ties with Russia puts the focus on securing alternative sources of fossil fuels. But longer term, the geopolitical and price pressures stoked by Russia’s war in Ukraine may actually accelerate Europe’s transition away from oil, gas and coal.

Before Russia’s war in Ukraine, Europe’s most pressing energy policy goal was reducing carbon emissions that cause climate change, AP reports.

Now, officials are fixated on rapidly reducing the continent’s reliance on Russian oil and natural gas — and that means friction between security and climate goals, at least in the short term.

To wean itself from Russian energy supplies as quickly as possible, Europe will need to burn more coal and build more pipelines and terminals to import fossil fuels from elsewhere.

This dramatic shift comes amid soaring fuel costs for motorists, homeowners and businesses, and as political leaders reassess the geopolitical risks from being so energy-dependent on Russia.

In 2021, the European Union imported roughly 40% of its gas and 25% of its oil from Russia — an economic relationship that officials had thought would prevent hostilities, but is instead financing them.

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