Putin’s assault on Ukraine triggered an energy crisis that sent Europe’s economies into a tailspin and put the European energy transition to the test. But how did the European Union, a leader in climate action, become so dependent on Russian oil and gas to begin with? 

This week, we’re posting the first episode in a new five-part series for The Big Switch. The show is a collaboration between Post Script Media and the Columbia Center on Global Energy Policy.

The series looks at the energy systems of Germany and Poland. Both have very different energy economies, but both became dependent on Russian energy for heating homes, firing power plants, and fueling businesses.

In this episode, we look at the immediate impact of the Ukraine invasion and the historical influences behind the dependence – from Germany’s pursuit of natural gas to Poland’s centuries-long relationship with coal.

Then we ask whether Europe’s initial response to the crisis will accelerate or slow down the region’s push toward green energy.

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