Chapter 5: Climate change and the green transition: the new geopolitical conundrum
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This chapter examines the most significant aspects and consequences of the ongoing energy transition for Europe. It starts with an overview of key evidence and scenarios on climate change drawn from the 2021 IPCC report on the physical science basis. It then explains how Europe is slowly proceeding towards energy systems based on renewable technologies and modern storage appliances, what EU institutions are doing in this field, and how this will shape relations with long-standing fossil fuel suppliers. The question of securing supply chains of rare earths and critical minerals for the green transition is addressed, including the related geopolitics and China’s role. Prospects for the large-scale deployment of hydrogen for carrying and storing energy in Europe are investigated. The chapter concludes with a comparative assessment of the geopolitics of renewables and fossil fuels based on recent scholarly literature.

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