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With President Joe Biden releasing 1 million barrels daily from U.S. oil reserves in hope of staving off gasoline inflation. Germany and other European nations continue to buy natural gas and oil from Russia, effectively undermining the pain of war sanctions.

Jennie Stephens, Director for Strategic Relationships at GRI, believes the stresses surrounding Russia & the global petroleum market should be hastening governments to lessen their dependence on fossil fuels but instead it seems governments are only doubling down on oil and gas in the short term in defiance of a disturbing report issued by the United Nations climate science panel on April 4th, 2022.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), “Greenhouse gas emissions must peak before 2025 to avoid the worst outcomes of climate change” Stephens says the conclusions are obvious. “The IPCC report says that the most important thing we need to do—and we’ve known this for decades—is to end fossil-fuel reliance.”

One starting point would be to end U.S. government subsidies for coal, oil, and natural gas, says Stephens. The subsidies totaled $5.9 trillion in 2020, according to the International Monetary Fund.

“We have all the technologies that are needed,” Stephens says. “It’s not a sacrifice. It’s about reinvestment and putting money in the right places.” For Stephens, a quick way to help wean communities off fossil fuels is by investing in any and all green-transportation options, including making public transportation free.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report says radical change is needed to avoid the worst outcomes of climate change. While Jennie Stephens believes it’s not too late to start making these changes she fears that the only reason governments are not making strides to make these changes is because of political resistance from powerful interests that don’t want it to happen.