London/Brussels — Before the pandemic halted daily life and shattered economies, the EU had set a course for a difficult reinvention. By 2050, the bloc had decreed, under the banner of its Green Deal, there would be no net greenhouse gas emissions from the entire continent.

The announcement on Wednesday that the COP26 climate summit, which had been scheduled for November in Glasgow, would be cancelled due to the novel coronavirus only underscores what had already become readily apparent. Europe’s commitment to meeting its energy — and to the prioritisation of climate-friendly policies at all costs — is being tested...

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