Fossil fuel prices prepare for war; plus the Winter Olympics in 2050

Source: Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

By David Callaway, Callaway Climate Insights

Fossil fuel prices are preparing for war this week. What happens next will change the energy picture in Europe permanently.

Oil is poised at about $96 a barrel. Natural gas futures in Europe shot up 7% Monday, and carbon contract prices hovered at about €92, as investors also sold stocks and bought gold ahead of what Western intelligence sources are broadcasting could be a Wednesday invasion of Ukraine by Russia.

As frantic last-minute negotiations between Western leaders and Vladimir Putin continue, markets are looking at three scenarios. An invasion will send fossil fuel prices soaring, with some analysts saying $120 a barrel is likely. A withdrawal of troops or an agreement will send prices plunging. Oil was at $70 before Christmas, with most of the recent buildup attributed to the Ukraine situation. . . .

Plus: Read how France’s new plans to build up to 14 more nuclear reactors in the next few decades dramatically highlight how at least one country in Europe hopes to cut its reliance on foreign oil and gas. And, why there are only four places in the world that will be able to host future Winter Olympic Games. . . .

To read this column, all our insights, news and in-depth interviews, please subscribe and support our great climate finance journalism.

Callaway Climate Insights Newsletter