Author ORCID Identifier


Document Type


Publication Date



Ukraine, Russia, Energy markets, Environmental protection, Energy security, International humanitarian law


This Article addresses the Russia-Ukraine conflict’s broad implications for energy security, climate security, and environment protections during wartime. I assert that in the short-term the Russian-Ukraine war is poised to hinder much-needed international climate progress. It will stymie international decarbonization efforts and cause greater uncertainty in other climate-destabilized parts of the world, such as the Arctic. While Russia has become a pariah in the eyes of the United States and other Western nations, it has forged new partnerships and capitalized on new, lucrative energy markets outside the West and Global South. But in the long term, the global renewable energy transition will accelerate as nations realize the economic and national security risk when relying upon Russia and similarly unreliable petrostates. National security is energy security.

In Part II, I describe and analyze Russia’s brazen attacks on the Ukraine environment and built infrastructure, applying these actions to environmental protections embedded within international humanitarian law (IHL) and the law of armed conflict. My analysis focuses on Russia’s wholesale disregard of IHL, as evidenced by its callous and indiscriminate attacks on Ukrainian civilians, energy infrastructure, dams, and Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.

In Part III, I analyze the Russia-Ukraine conflict through the lens of energy security and environmental security. In Part IV, I address the war’s broader implications for long-term climate progress and climate security. This includes a discussion of the normative implications for Arctic security, a part of the world warming two to three times the pace of the rest of the world. The Arctic is also home to Russian militarization efforts, acting as a litmus test for Russia’s geopolitical ambitions.

Throughout the Article, I look ahead to the post-conflict geopolitical order. While there is no current end in sight to hostilities, I offer recommendations for the U.S. and the rest of the world to make post-conflict climate progress and help guide long-term decarbonization efforts. I conclude on a cautiously optimistic note, arguing that the Russia-Ukraine crisis provides a generational opportunity to accelerate international decarbonization and climate efforts.

First Page


Publication Title

Ohio State Law Journal


Originally published in 84 Ohio St. L.J (2024).