“Everything is coming to roost,” said Alla Valente, senior analyst on Forrester Research’s security and risk team.
“It’s not just logistics time, it’s not just the cost of oil or how much oil is being used, it’s not just waiting to get our shipment of semiconductor chips, it’s not just the transportation labor shortage,” she said. “It’s not any one of those things, it’s all of those things.”
Dysfunction in supply chains and energy will lead to even higher costs for consumers, businesses, governments — and, ultimately, the environment, experts say.
“War is an energy-intensive business,” said Nikos Tsafos, an energy and geopolitics expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “It takes energy to move things around, to move troops and equipment.”
Already, global oil prices have risen to their highest levels in nearly a decade, driving up costs for everything from food to fertilizer.
A retreat from Russian oil and gas
Those shifts are already happening as countries around the world seek to reduce their reliance on Russian oil, gas and other commodities.
The US has banned all Russian oil, natural gas and coal imports, and the United Kingdom has laid out a plan to phase out Russian oil imports by the end of the year and eventually put an end to natural gas imports as well.
The European Union, meanwhile, has said it would impose a fifth round of sanctions on Russia, including an import ban on Russian coal, though it has stopped short of banning Russian oil.
“We must become independent from Russian oil, coal and gas,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement last month. “We simply cannot rely on a supplier who explicitly threatens us.”
Energy security vs. climate strategy
In the immediate term, EU countries are forced to explore a variety of means for keeping energy flowing and their citizens warm during the winter, Tsafos said.
“I think the overarching objective of Europeans is to do things that don’t undermine their climate strategy, so they would like to not use more coal unless they have to,” Tsafos said, noting the European Union’s goals of being climate-neutral by 2050 and reducing greenhouse gas emissions 55% by 2030. “But so far, what their strategy boils down to is to try to buy whatever gas they can find, and I think the risk of that, is this could put a lot of stress on the gas market.”
Near-term energy security efforts aside, the current crisis will likely spur Europe and others to accelerate their climate plans, wean themselves off fossil fuels and invest more in renewable energy technologies, said Ryan Kellogg, a University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy professor who specializes in energy economics, environmental policy and industrial organization.
“All of that takes time. It’s not really going to help with the acute high prices and the pain that consumers are feeling now,” he said. “Where it does help is when the next crisis hits.”
CNN Business’ Mark Thompson contributed to this report.