Weather chief: Ukraine war may be ‘blessing’ for climate

Oct 10, 2022, 6:36 PM | Updated: Oct 11, 2022, 3:03 pm
FILE - Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), presents t...

FILE - Petteri Taalas, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), presents the report "2021 State of Climate Services: Water", during press conference, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, on Oct. 5, 2021. The head of the U.N. weather agency says the war in Ukraine “may be seen as a blessing” from a climate perspective because it is accelerating the development of and investment in green energies over the longer term — even though fossil fuels are being used at a time of high demand now. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)

(Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)

GENEVA (AP) — The head of the U.N. weather agency says the war in Ukraine “may be seen as a blessing” from a climate perspective because it is accelerating the development of and investment in green energies over the longer term — even though fossil fuels are being used at a time of high demand now.

The comments from Petteri Taalas, secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organization, came as the world is facing a shortfall in energy needs — prompted in part by economic sanctions against key oil and natural gas producer Russia — and prices for fossil fuels have risen.

That has led some countries to turn quickly to alternatives like coal. But rising prices for carbon-spewing fuels like oil, gas and coal have also made higher-priced renewable energies like solar, wind and hydrothermal more competitive in the energy marketplace.

The energy crunch has also led many big consuming countries in Europe and beyond to initiate conservation measures, and talk of rationing has emerged in some places.

Taalas acknowledged that the war in Ukraine has been a “shock for the European energy sector,” and has prompted an upturn in the use of fossil energies.

“From the five- to 10-year timescale, it’s clear that this war in Ukraine will speed up our consumption of fossil energy, and it’s speeding up this green transition,” Taalas said.

“So we are going to invest much more in renewable energy, energy-saving solutions,” and some small-scale nuclear reactors are likely to come online by 2030 as “part of the solution,” he said.

“So from climate perspective, the war in Ukraine may be seen as a blessing,” Taalas added.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and other leaders in the U.N. system have repeatedly made the point “that as well as the tragic human impacts, the conflict underscores the rising costs of the world’s fossil fuel addiction, and the urgent need to accelerate the shift to renewables, to protect people and planet,” U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

Taalas was speaking as WMO issued a new report that said the supply of electricity from cleaner sources of energy needs to double within the next eight years to curb an increase in global temperatures.

The latest “State of Climate Services” annual report — based on contributions from 26 different organizations — focuses this year on energy.

Taalas said the energy sector currently is responsible for about three-quarters of emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases, and he called for a “complete transformation” of the global energy system.

He warned that climate change is affecting electricity generation — and it could have an increasing impact in the future. Among the risks, nuclear plants that rely on water for cooling could be affected by water shortages, and some are located in coastal areas that are vulnerable to sea-level rise or flooding.

In its report, WMO noted that in 2020, some 87% or global electricity generated from thermal, nuclear and hydroelectric systems — which produce less CO2 than plants run by fossil fuels — depended on water availability.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Suspect arrested in fatal shooting at Houston home

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A 38-year-old man has been arrested in connection to a Thanksgiving day shooting at a Houston-area home that left two people dead and two wounded, according to the Houston Police Department. A man believed to be a former spouse of one of the victims entered the home through the back door […]
1 day ago
FILE - A Zimbabwe National Parks official inspects some of the elephant tusks during a tour of ivor...
Associated Press

Wildlife conference boosts protection for sharks, turtles

PANAMA CITY (AP) — An international wildlife conference moved to enact some of the most significant protection for shark species targeted in the fin trade and scores of turtles, lizards and frogs whose numbers are being decimated by the pet trade. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, known […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

NYPD officers, bystander save man who fell subway tracks

NEW YORK (AP) — Two New York City police officers and a bystander raced to save a man who fell on the tracks at a Manhattan subway station, plucking him out of the way of an oncoming train in a daring rescue captured by an officer’s body camera. The incident happened around 4 p.m. Thursday […]
1 day ago
FILE - This Oct. 3, 2016, photo, provided by the Martin County Sheriff's Office, shows Austin Harro...
Associated Press

Judge to decide on Florida face-biter insanity plea

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A former college student who randomly killed a Florida couple in their garage six years ago and then chewed on one victim’s face finally goes on trial Monday, with a judge deciding whether he goes to prison for life or to a mental hospital. Austin Harrouff, 25, has pleaded not […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

‘Fame’ and ‘Flashdance’ singer-actor Irene Cara dies at 63

NEW YORK (AP) — Oscar, Golden Globe and two-time Grammy winning singer-actress Irene Cara, who starred and sang the title cut from the 1980 hit movie “Fame” and then belted out the era-defining hit “Flashdance … What a Feeling” from 1983’s “Flashdance,” has died. She was 63. Her publicist, Judith A. Moose, announced the news […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Ble Goude returns to Ivory Coast after 11 years in exile

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (AP) — Former Youth Minister Charles Ble Goude, who was acquitted of crimes at the International Criminal Court, returned home Saturday to Ivory Coast after more than a decade of exile. He arrived in Abidjan on a commercial flight and made no comment at the airport, which was heavily guarded by police. […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
Weather chief: Ukraine war may be ‘blessing’ for climate