Before 2022, EU conceptions of climate and energy security had begun to converge in a ‘virtuous synergy’ that supported the Union’s continuing attempts at international climate policy leadership. This paper argues that the more orthodox military security problem posed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine coupled with extreme weather events in the same period has profoundly altered both the immediacy and the location of the perceived threats. The Union’s responses have been dramatic in terms of a re-orientation of established energy and security policies. Ending the dependence upon Russian gas provides the chance to accelerate the achievement of the European Green Deal and ‘Fit for 55’ but also involves an immediate quest for alternative gas supplies. The unresolved question is whether the Union can use this opportunity to enhance rather than dissipate its climate security and policy leadership.
Climate change, Russia-Ukraine war, European Union, Green Deal
John Vogler is currently Professorial Research Fellow in International Relations at Keele University in the United Kingdom. He has researched and written on international environmental politics and global commons issues for over 30 years. Another area of his interest has been European Union external policy and the EU as a global actor. He was convenor of the British International Studies Association Environment Working Group and a member of the UK Economic and Social Research Council’s Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy. His most recent book is Climate Change in World Politics (Palgrave 2016).