On September 9-10, India will be hosting this year's G20 Summit, an international gathering of leaders of top economies. On this occasion Razom We Stand, together with other Ukrainian NGOs and international partners, appeals publicly to the world's leaders with a demand for responsible and dignified actions: addressing the climate emergency, war crimes and violation of international law by tightening the sanctions against Russia.
Honourable leaders of G20 states,
Expressing our respect, we would like to reiterate the message on the need to keep Russian fossil fuels in the ground and stop the expansion of Russian oil and gas infrastructure, particularly LNG infrastructure. On the latest, Ukrainian Civil Society Organizations have already addressed the European Commission in the hope of receiving a response in the form of respective political decisions.
Today we find it inconceivable that a representative of the Russian criminal regime is allowed to participate in the G20 Summit, while Russia’s dictator Vladimir Putin has been indicted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes in Ukraine. The invasion of Ukraine by Russian Federation forces under the direction of Vladimir Putin is a clear war against Ukrainian sovereignty and independence as well as a grave violation of human rights, international law, and global peace. This invasion confronts the world with the spectre of a grimmer future, where both natural and social systems could collapse and violence become the dominant force.
It is equally clear that Putin’s war machine has been funded, fed, and fuelled by the fossil fuel industry that is driving both the invasion of Ukraine and the climate crisis that threatens humanity's future. There should be no place for Vladimir Putin or representatives of his regime at the G20 Summit or any other dignified international gatherings.
Since launching its full-scale war of aggression against Ukraine on 24 February 2022, Russia has amassed more than 440 billion US dollars in revenue from fossil-fuel exports. This colossal flow of money has made it possible for Russia to put its economy on a war footing and increase the production of weapons used in the brutal war against Ukraine, while also incentivising further expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure in Russia. Even now, after over a year and a half since the Russian Federation brutally assaulted Ukraine.
We call on all leaders of goodwill to end fossil fuel addiction once and for all. We call on G20 heads of state to take immediate action to phase out imports of fossil fuels from Russia and exit from any joint ventures in oil and gas with Russian companies. Russian officials are making every effort to engage G20 countries in joint venture infrastructure projects that could help Russia regain its former positions in the global oil and gas markets.
In July 2023 the price of Russian oil at the world market has risen above the G7 price cap, while embargoes imposed by the EU, the USA and UK are diluted by “laundromat” loopholes, as these countries continue to buy oil products produced from Russian crude oil.
While some G20 governments, such as Australia, Canada, the USA, the UK and the EU have responded to the gravity of Russia’s violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and committing countless war crimes, including targeting civilians with military strikes and kidnapping children, with a limited set of sanctions, the overall international response to existential threats to the world unleashed by Russia’s rampage is very weak.
Moreover, many of the world’s leading economies continue to contribute to Russia’s war effort by propping up the Kremlin’s main revenue streams by increasing imports of Russian fossil fuels and even investing in new Russian fossil fuel infrastructure. By doing this, the G20 leaders are putting themselves far more behind necessary commitments to equitable phase-out of all fossil fuels and setting 2030 as the target year for the phase-out of all fossil fuels subsidies and installation of at least 1.5 TW per annum of renewable energy while doubling energy efficiency deployment from 2022 levels every year.
So far, the G20 nations are hindering their own energy security, and the urgently needed decarbonisation of economies by allowing their companies to participate in oil and gas joint ventures with Russia and providing inefficient and harmful public subsidies that incentivise higher demand for fossil fuels.
Today, the G20 countries must be clearly aware of the consequences of their actions as too many are moving in concerning directions:
We implore the G20 to get on track by fair and fast investing in clean energy technologies, including developing countries and post-war Ukraine to protect the economy and the planet. G20 governments must take immediate action to end reliance on Russian fossil fuels and stop the expansion of Russian oil and gas infrastructure, including LNG. G20 cannot afford to continue supporting Putin’s war machine and contributing to unravelling climate catastrophe. The democracy and human lives are at stake.
Yet there is some hope. The EU is pioneering the way to get rid of dependency on Russian fossil fuels. Falling demand drives collapse in demand for fossil fuels in the EU in 2023 by 17% to lowest on record in 2023 and 17 EU countries generated a record share of renewables from January to June. In the first six months of the calendar year 2023, Japan also reduced LNG imports from Russia by 16.5% compared to the same period a year earlier.
The other G20 countries must follow suit.
G20 governments must end this dreadful addiction to oil and gas for two essential reasons: to start solving the climate crisis and to dry up the funds for the brutal Russian war against the Ukrainian people, which also presents an onslaught on international rule of law and democracy.
Having this in mind, in light of the coming G20 Summit, we call to uphold commitments to climate action and peace by addressing these outstanding issues:
- Aligning national energy and climate policies with the demands of climate science and international justice by implementing effective policies to eliminate dependencies on Russian fossil fuels, including LNG.
- Imposing an immediate and effective ban on new investments in Russian fossil fuel infrastructure projects.
- Exiting from all existing fossil fuel projects and joint ventures with Russia, such as Arctic LNG-2 and Sakhalin-2.
- Strengthening and enforcing embargoes on all Russian fossil fuels and imposing permanent international sanctions against the Russian fossil fuel industry. World peace and climate action need consistent efforts to keep Russian fossil fuels in the ground and particularly prevent its expansion along the LNG vector.
To sign on and add your voice, please fill out this form until Friday, September 8.
Open letter for COP28 leaders
December 1, 2023
Kyiv, Nov 30, 2023, for immediate release
Razom We Stand was founded in April 2022 by Ukrainian climate and peace activists aimed at isolating and constricting Russia’s fossil fuel industry to end the war in Ukraine and speed up Europe’s transition towards renewable energy.
For immediate release
Kyiv, November 14, 2023
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