(CNN)As Russia's brutal war in Ukraine disrupts energy supply and forces world leaders to examine their dependence on Russian oil and natural gas, leaders in the United States and Europe are scrambling to fill the gaps.
Could Russia's war kick-start a renewable-energy revolution? It depends where in the world you look
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson this week advocated for new oil and gas drilling in the North Sea in the name of energy security, and there are talks in the UK and in Germany of delaying the closure of some coal-fired power plants.
There's also increased pressure on the oil- and natural gas-rich US to produce more to send to Europe, and US President Joe Biden is trying to get Middle Eastern countries to produce more oil to help bring sky-high gasoline prices down.
This is all bad news for the climate crisis — which is caused by the burning of fossil fuels — but they are short-term responses. There is also good reason to believe that the upheaval brought by Russia's war will speed the transition to clean energy in the long run.
While Johnson wrote of more drilling, he also wrote of doubling down on renewable energy, such as solar or wind power. A UK government spokesperson told CNN that a new energy strategy to be revealed next week will "supercharge" its renewables and nuclear capacity.
In Germany, which is highly dependent on Russian gas, the government brought forward its deadline for a full transition to renewables in its power sector by at least five years, to 2035.
But in the US, the path toward a clean energy transition has stalled in the Congress.
"The war will supercharge the European energy transition — most European leaders understand that diversifying from fossil fuels is a path to greater security," Nikos Tsafos, an energy expert with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told CNN in an email interview. "The response in the United States has been more bifurcated — some calling for more oil and gas production, others for more investments in renewable energy."
Ultimately, Europe and the US are on a different footing with their clean energy transitions. The European Union, for example, has a detailed emissions target in law and a road map to cut emissions 55% by 2030. Biden's administration has undertaken a number of executive actions and federal regulations to work toward the US emissions goal to cut 50-52% of emissions by 2030. But his target is lacking legislative teeth.
"We must walk and chew gum — address supply in the short term because families need to take their kids to school, and go to work, get groceries and go about their lives — and often that requires gas," a White House spokesperson told CNN. "But in the long term we must speed up — not slow down — our transition to a clean energy future."