Libya has the largest reserves of oil in Africa — and the ninth largest reserves in the world — however in the wake of weeks of political upheaval and dissent the country’s daily production of 1.6 million barrels has declined by more than half. As a result, oil prices are now skyrocketing around the world, and today the cost of a barrel of oil topped $106 – the highest the cost of oil has risen in the past two and a half years. If there’s ever been a concrete event signaling the urgent need to shift towards more sustainable energy sources, this is it.

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Photo © Antony

The conflict in Libya has already taken its toll around the world – pump prices are increasing across the states, and Spain has announced lowered speed limits and public transportation incentives to help cope with the rising price of oil. The US and other countries are currently considering tapping into strategic oil reserves following last week’s landmark 7% price rise, and some analysts believe that if oil rises above $150 for more than a few months it could trigger another recession. The United States’ heavy reliance on foreign oil also constitutes a threat to national security that has the military currently investing in renewable initiatives.

As the fires of Libya’s political unrest ignite soaring oil prices across the globe, there’s never been a better time to call for sustainable energy sources that decrease our investment in foreign oil. From biofuels and electric vehicles to large-scale solar and wind installations, we currently have the technologies necessary to transition towards a more sustainable, fossil-fuel free world.


Lead photo © Lars Christopher Nøttaasen