The recent dramatic increase in energy prices in the European Union is unlikely to force the bloc to rethink or delay its transition to a zero emissions economy because of the issue’s political significance, Branko Milicevic, a member of the Sustainable Energy Division of the UN Economic Commission for Europe, told Sputnik on Tuesday.
The EU has seen a spike in natural gas prices over the last few months, driven by growing energy demand in the post-pandemic restoration of the global economy, and a limited supply. On Tuesday, the price of gas futures in Europe broke a new record, exceeding $1,400 per 1,000 cubic meters.
“I don’t think the high gas prices will delay the transition to zero emissions because it has huge political weight and because the prices are normally up and down, so they will wait for a year or so and see what would happen. They might well go down,” Milicevic said on the sidelines of the 10th St. Petersburg International Gas Forum.
The UN official underlined that even though gas prices are indeed at their historical highest, it will not delay the process of switching from coal to gas.
“Even though the prices are high, it is kind of a trade because coal is also expensive,” Milicevic pointed out.
The EU is working to diversify its energy sources, including renewables. In 2019, the commission adopted the so-called European Green Deal, which aims to cut carbon emissions and build a resource-efficient and eco-friendly economy.