04 March 2022

Statement on the invasion of Ukraine

Members of the Europe Beyond Coal campaign stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian people, and condemn Vladimir Putin’s unconscionable war.

This attack by the Russian leadership is leading to a devastating loss of lives, and a humanitarian and refugee crisis in Ukraine. The Russian government is threatening peace and safety for all Europeans and beyond, and has proven that it fundamentally stands in opposition to everyone who values peace, civil cooperation, and social democratic ideals. Its actions must be firmly, resolutely, and permanently rejected. 

The fingerprints of coal, gas, and oil are all over this invasion. We are literally funding the war through our continued burning of fossil fuels imported from Russia. It is therefore the moral duty of European political and business leaders to make every effort to urgently end Russian, and all fossil fuel dependence in our economies. Transitioning our energy systems to be more efficient and based completely on renewable sources is an overriding priority. 

With the IPCC’s dire update of climate science coming the same week, there can be no more half measures. This is the moment for brave decisions on energy. We can allow no more citizens to be shelled because of fossil fuels, nor any person to face a dangerous and uncertain future due to inadequate action on climate change. 

Renewable power and energy savings promote peace. Sanctions and severing ties to the Kremlin’s fossil-fuel economy, coupled with emergency plans to mobilise extraordinary budgets and policy measures to rapidly insulate, heat, repower, and further interconnect EU member states, as well as neighbouring European countries, will help Ukraine by cutting money flows to Putin’s regime, while building energy security and resiliency for all European citizens – including Ukraine.

Every heat pump, every lowered highway speed limit, every new LED street lamp and insulated house, every solar panel and wind turbine, every bicycle ride replacing a trip with a car, every reduced train fare protects citizens from high energy costs and gas shocks in the near term, while promoting peace for Europe and globally.

Europe is united against Russian government aggression – as are many Russian citizens. The best way for us all to stop empowering warmongers like Putin is to work together to end fossil fuel use completely.

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