Europe faces Catch-22 on green energy transition – expert

Environmental goals and solving the cost-of-living crisis may be incompatible in the short-term, a business school professor says

Surging energy prices are a major factor in skyrocketing inflation and food prices across Europe, Professor Samir Dani from Keele Business School told the Daily Express on Sunday. The expert warns of a ‘Catch-22 situation’ in balancing the continent’s climate goals and bringing down inflation and food prices, which are linked, in part, to oil and gas prices.

A ‘Catch-22’ generally refers to a paradox in which a solution is denied by the problem itself.

“At the moment, it’s an emergency situation, it’s inflation all over, it’s firing out into all sorts of domino effects through the food supply chain, which is key, because food is the major commodity for everybody.”

“In terms of manufacturing, it can lead to a lot of job [loss] scenarios, it can lead to starvation, and all sorts of things coming through the process … Energy has become the key domain for the world’s major problems,” he said.

READ MORE: Eurozone inflation accelerates

According to Dani, bringing down energy prices is largely incompatible with the goals of tackling climate change, resulting in a Catch-22.

Dani said that consumers will likely have to live with higher prices for the time being if the world wants to achieve its climate goals. “People may have to realize that in the next 10 years, energy prices, as we are resetting into a green economy or green energy generation, may take time to go down.”

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