Global reliance on fossil fuels must end


The Ukrainian crisis has only highlighted the world’s dependence on fossil fuels. With Russia controlling nearly 20% of the world’s oil supply and the apparent lukewarm response of other oil-producing countries to stabilize the market, the world price of oil has soared and is affecting all economies. Immediately afterwards, increases in the costs of logistics and transport, as well as premium commodities and services, will then have a considerable impact on the purchasing power of the individual. Preparing for the worst is a no-brainer. And while we must tackle this head-on, we must also accelerate our timelines to dramatically reduce this global vulnerability and our shift to renewable energy and low-carbon initiatives. Otherwise, a similar occurrence of the Ukrainian crisis will happen again and again. The global reliance on fossil fuels must end and it should involve collective political actions by governments, but also by us, the individuals.

In our country, the rhetoric about achieving such a goal does not match the actions we are taking, both collectively and as individuals. We are signatories of the Paris Agreement, which aims to solve the problem of global warming, mainly with the reduction of the use of fossil fuels. We are also committed to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, recognizing the need for renewable energy with 2030 as the target date. And there have been gains in efforts to reduce our consumption of fossil fuels. The share of renewables in total use in the form of solar and wind power has increased in the last decade alone. Modernizing transportation and switching to alternative fuels as well as encouraging non-motorized modes have been attempted, with some success in this administration. Across cities, bicycle use has increased; greatly encouraged by the bike lane infrastructure that the government had managed to pivot during this pandemic. Public transport has also become more efficient, not to mention that the rise of rail, which has been the subject of all the attention of this administration and which we will see materialize in the next one, will lead to less use of individual motorized travel. gasoline guzzlers.

But there is so much more to do. The Ukrainian-Russian war undoubtedly served as a catalyst for the change needed. On the table is the electric vehicle bill that has been languishing in both houses of Congress and will need to be passed on to the next administration. Initiatives such as additional incentives for solar and wind farms need to be considered, just as penalties for industries’ insistence on using traditional carbon-based fuels need to be consciously confronted. And as we begin to emerge from the pandemic, automobile use has declined, along with traffic. Efficiency programs such as integrated bus stations, motor vehicle inspection systems as well as jeepney upgrades are suddenly vulnerable to political deals.

Individually, we need to consciously have this shift in attitude and change our mindset that we cannot function if we don’t have this carbon component in our lifestyle. Think about it. That air conditioning on a chilly day, that 5 minute drive or to the gym that will definitely give you the same amount of exercise if you had walked instead of driving. In the same way, private companies must continue to work from home, or promote carpooling with their employees.

They say there is always something good that can come out of a crisis. Rethinking our dependence on fossil fuels is certainly the result of this unwanted war in Ukraine. And as we watch this unfortunate war unfold and sympathize with a people fighting for their homeland, we realize that we are, thousands of miles away, a part of this conflict. We can, as a contribution to their fight, do our fair share to get rid of our country’s dependence on fossil fuels.

The author can be reached via: [email protected]


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