Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)


Environmental Studies


Edward Van Buren


The apparatus of Europe’s energy security has collapsed. The Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine, hydrocarbon market turmoil, and the ever-growing threat of climate change has thrust the continent into crisis. As the risks of severe recession, acute energy shortages, and climatic disasters have begun to materialize, the member states of the European Union (EU) have been left scrambling to secure novel energy supplies. In the short-term, these developments pose severe risks to the EU and its member states. Yet, opportunity often presents itself in the midst of hardship, and the European Energy Crisis of 2022 is no different. This essay discusses the EU’s path to achieve energy security. Chapter 1 begins with an overview of the EU’s energy market, with regards to its current policy and energy mix. The second features a historical overview of hydrocarbons and renewable energy sources in the EU, commencing with the formation of the European Coal and Steel Community in 1952. Chapter 3 details the inherent risks of continued hydrocarbon dependance, and specifically discusses troubling market forces, the war in Ukraine, and climate change. Chapter 4 delves into an economic overview of the EU’s unique ability to unilaterally alter global markets through aggressive regulatory action, with a particular emphasis on energy and environmental policy. The final chapter advocates for the EU to achieve energy security through two policies. Firstly, the EU must rid its dependency on hydrocarbons, and establish a reliance on renewable energy. Secondly, to truly limit the deleterious effects of climate change, the EU must use its power in influencing global markets to spur global action to decarbonize.