With Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine hijacking the climate-and-energy-transition agenda that countries thought they would be pursuing this year, it’s become fashionable to ask whether Canada can afford to make a break from fossil fuels.
The simple answer is that we can’t afford not to.
The months since the invasion have upended international markets for oil and gas, as the European Union scrambles to break its dependence on Russian supplies. Oil prices are riding high. Fossil fuel companies are touting their newfound relevance. European leaders are urging citizens to cut down their energy use and warning about possible rationing. And it’s not yet clear whether countries like Germany would freeze in the dark this winter if Russia cut off all supplies through its Nord Stream 1 pipeline.
But the short-term crisis doesn’t change the inevitable, underlying logic of a rapid…