Russia-Ukraine conflict accelerates need for clean energy transition: Britain’s Sunak

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The Russian-Ukrainian conflict has accelerated the need for clean energy transition, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told Al Arabiya at the UN climate conference in Egypt.

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has highlighted the importance for all of us transitioning to safer, cleaner and cheaper forms of energy and removing our dependence on fossil fuels,” Sunak said on Monday at the sidelines of COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh.

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The Russian-Ukrainian conflict has caused an energy crisis and disruption in energy outflow, prompting EU countries that have cut down on energy supply from Moscow to find other sources of energy.

However, some optimists hope that the crisis will push countries further to adopt clean energy sources.

“There cannot be lasting peace or prosperity without action on climate change,” the UK premier said.

Sunak underscored that the “preferable” solution to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict is a “peaceful resolution,” adding, however, that asking Ukraine to negotiate a solution is not “fair…at the same time as their country is being violently attacked.”

Commenting on talks to restore a nuclear deal with Iran, Sunak noted that Tehran did not take the opportunity to move forward when a deal was put on the table in March.

“Iran did not take the opportunity to move forward with [the deal] and I think the situation now is very difficult and we'll have to consider what the best next steps are with our international partners,” Sunak said. “But that is made more difficult by Iran’s violent treatment of the protesters and their continued actions that are destabilizing the region.”

As for the relationship with the Gulf countries, Sunak praised the strong ties the UK has with them adding that he looked forward to further develop this relation.

“We’re very fortunate to have important and historical ties with our friends and allies among the Gulf states,” he said. “Looking forward, what we want to have, is a modern relationship that is built not just on our historic defense and security cooperation, but also enhances our economic dialogue, partnership and development.”

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