06.12.23 / fossil fuels brief carbon war COP 28 / Press Release


For Immediate Release

Kyiv/Dubai December 6th 2023


As the world converges at COP 28 to address pressing climate issues, Razom We Stand, in collaboration with partners including CREA and B4Ukraine, has released a comprehensive report titled The Carbon War: Accounting for the Global Proliferation of Russian Fossil Fuels and the Case for Unprecedented International Sanctions Response.

The report emphasises the critical role of Russian fossil fuel exports in funding Russia's war in Ukraine, underscoring the urgent need for immediate, robust international sanctions against their proliferation. It provides a detailed examination of the global landscape concerning Russian fossil fuel exports and advocates for an unparalleled international sanctions response to close all loopholes with strong monitoring and enforcement. Additionally, the report highlights the troubling pattern where nations overly dependent on fossil fuel exports and lacking diversification tend to slide into authoritarian regimes, showcasing the urgent need for diversification in energy economies.

Svitlana Romanko, Founder of Razom We Stand, emphasised the urgency of this issue, stating:

"Our report unearths the pivotal role of Russian fossil fuel exports in sustaining conflict and instability along with global fossil fuel addiction. The funds derived from these exports fuel Russia's war in Ukraine, magnifying the urgency for concerted international action. The data indicates that Russia's fossil fuel economy is poised for a mid-term collapse with stricter sanctions and the closure of existing loopholes. We should not lend credence to the false narratives propagated by Russia, aiming to lift sanctions and revitalise their criminal war economy. It's imperative to move away swiftly from commodities that must be phased out as soon as possible."

Isaac Levi, representing CREA, said:

“The G7 and EU must tighten the loopholes in the sanctions to enhance their impact and cut funds that flow to the Kremlin from Russia’s export of fossil fuel. Sanctioning countries must strengthen the monitoring and enforcement of the oil price cap if the policy is to diminish Russian oil revenues and help stifle their invasion of Ukraine.   Investments in clean energy are critical to reduce reliance on fossil fuels that are used to fuel military aggressions such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as well as being a key component to combat climate change”.

The report, incorporating data from a number of partner organisations, underscores startling figures:

Russia’s Fossil Fuel Revenues: Because of weak and insufficient ongoing global sanctions, Russia has earned a staggering 550 billion euro export revenue since the start of the full-scale invasion, sustaining its aggressive actions.

Effectiveness of Oil Price Cap: The imposition of a $60 price cap on Russian oil saw prices plummet to $45 per barrel in January 2023. Despite this, by September 2023, Urals crude prices rebounded to a high of $84 per barrel.

Russia’s revenues from oil have been dominated by China (36% worth EUR 57 bn), India (23% worth EUR 36 bn) and Turkey (12% worth EUR 18 bn).

Russia saw a surge in revenue from LNG exports: particularly as its LNG remains unsanctioned by the EU. From December 2022 to October 2023, half of Russia's LNG exports, totalling EUR 8.3 billion, were directed to the EU market.

European Union’s Energy Dependency: In 2021, the total value of EU energy imports from Russia reached approximately $150 billion, with $104 billion allocated to oil products. European Union countries accounted for EUR 183 billion ($201bn, £158bn) in purchases of Russian fossil fuels from the start of the invasion until November 30, 2023.

The decline of the Russian coal sector proves embargoes can work: In 2023, profits in the Russian coal industry fell by 53% compared to the same period in 2022, largely due to declining prices and increased transport costs.

Russia’s war economy: In 2024, the Kremlin is set to allocate nearly a third of its total expenditures to the military and military-industrial complex, marking the highest allocation since the Soviet era. With 10.775 trillion rubles earmarked for national defence, this figure represents a staggering 70% increase from 2023, 2.3 times more than 2022, and three times higher than pre-war 2021.

Razom We Stand and its partners remain committed to advocating for sustainable global energy practices. They urge global leaders to take decisive action to halt the devastation wrought by the proliferation of Russian fossil fuels, which directly funds Putin’s ongoing bloodthirsty war in Ukraine

For further information and for comment on the sanctions report contact [email protected].


About Razom We Stand:

Razom We Stand is a Ukrainian organisation active internationally and calling for a total and permanent embargo on Russian fossil fuels and an immediate end to all investment into Russian oil and gas companies. We seek to build momentum for a redesign of the global economy and major financial mobilisation for investments into new clean, smart and efficient energy systems based on renewables.

About CREA:

The Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) is an independent research organisation focused on revealing the trends, causes, and health impacts, as well as the solutions to air pollution. CREA uses scientific data, research and evidence to support the efforts of governments, companies and campaigning organisations worldwide in their efforts to move towards clean energy and clean air.

About B4Ukraine Coalition:

B4Ukraine is a global coalition of civil society organizations driven by a common goal: to block access to the economic resources behind Russian aggression. We aim to restore the peace and security of Ukraine by asking responsible businesses to respect human rights in word and in deed and #ExitRussia to #StopFundingTheWar in Ukraine.

Note to Editors:

Quotes from Svitlana Romanko and Isaac Levi provided herein may be used for publication with appropriate attribution.

For media inquiries:

Paraic Walker

[email protected]

International Communications Specialist at Razom We Stand