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How to fix the energy emergency

Also: The world’s most liveable cities

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June 23rd 2022

The Economist this week

Highlights from the latest issue

The Economist

This year’s energy shock is the most serious since the Middle Eastern oil crises of 1973 and 1979. Like those calamities, it promises to inflict short-term pain and in the longer term to transform the energy industry. The pain is all but guaranteed: owing to high fuel and power prices, most countries are facing soggy growth, inflation, squeezed living standards and a savage political backlash . But the long-run consequences are far from preordained. If governments respond ineptly, they could trigger a relapse towards fossil fuels that makes it even harder to stabilise the climate. Instead they must follow a perilous path that combines security of energy supply with climate security. Our cover this week sets out what that would look like.


Zanny Minton Beddoes
Editor-in-chief

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The world this week

Gustavo Petro, a former leftist guerrilla, won Colombia’s election. Mr Petro, an ex-mayor of Bogotá, will become the country’s first left-wing president in August. He won 50.4% of the vote to 47.3% for Rodolfo Hernández, a populist property tycoon. Investors are nervous; Mr Petro has sought to reassure them by suggesting he would appoint a centrist finance minister. But he still plans to ban oil exploration, open-pit mining and fracking, and give all persistently unemployed people a government job. Colombia’s currency and stockmarket wobbled after the result was announced.

More from Politics this week

Britain’s annual inflation rate hit 9.1% in May. Food prices accounted for much of that, but road-fuel prices were up by 32.8%, year on year, the biggest such increase in that category since the data were first compiled in 1989. Britain already has the highest inflation rate among G7 countries. The Bank of England recently increased its main interest rate for the fifth consecutive time, to 1.25%. The squeeze on household costs is pushing up wage demands. Train drivers went on strike this week, crippling the rail network for five days. Nurses and teachers are also considering action over pay in a “summer of strife”.

More from Business this week

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