Interview with Al-Arabiya (Saudi Arabia) on the conflict and clean energy transition
The war between Israel and Hamas presents a multifaceted challenge, impacting not only politics and human welfare but also environmental sustainability and green energy transition. In a world increasingly conscious of climate change, this conflict has raised critical questions about how wars affect environmental conservation and renewable energy efforts.
Wars in general consume considerable resources and often lead to significant environmental damage. The environmental cost of military operations includes the destruction of infrastructure and disruption to green energy projects and policies.
According to Andrea Zanon, CEO of Confidente, the war might impact climate sector negotiations globally.
“Governments usually prioritize national issues during crises, potentially sidelining carbon elimination goals,” he told Al Arabiya English.
He also anticipates some loss in the momentum for climate-related investment, especially in vulnerable Middle East and North African countries. However, he believes the overall shift toward green growth cannot be significantly slowed.
Israeli soldiers operate next to damaged buildings amid the ongoing ground operation of the Israeli army against the Palestinian group Hamas, in the Gaza Strip (Reuters)
Referencing the Russia-Ukraine war, Zanon suggests that wars can expedite the transition to net-zero emissions, making countries more energy secure and less reliant on unstable energy suppliers , as seen in Europe’s reduced dependence on Russia since the onset of the conflict in early 2022.
Russian gas imports to the EU were expected to drop to 40–45 billion cubic meters in 2023, down from 155 billion cubic meters in 2021, as per a report by European Commission published in October 2023.
EU imports of Russian petroleum oils decreased significantly, from a monthly average of 8.7 million tonnes in Q2 2022 to 1.6 million tonnes in Q2 2023, a decrease of 82 percent.