The war in Ukraine and the subsequent energy decoupling between Brussels and Moscow represent the greatest challenge so far vis-à-vis Europe’s green transition. Not only has the conflict highlighted how fossil fuels are still essential to power EU industries and day-to-day life, but the scramble for alternative sources has also diverted valuable resources from investment in renewables, forcing the Union to draft contingency plans. At the same time, however, the need for a swift phase-out of Russian oil and gas could represent an opportunity to explore innovative options and strengthen the EU’s ambition in terms of sustainable finance and the circular economy.
As Europe’s latest historic heatwave epitomises, climate action cannot be postponed any further. How can the EU support its green objectives at home and abroad in the current geopolitical scenario? Which contribution could technology and waste management provide to support the energy transition? And what role would innovation — both in terms of financial instruments and supply chains — play in the path towards sustainability?