01.12.22 / Embargo / Campaign Updates

Where is the best place to solve the climate crisis?

Whether you live in Sweden, Ukraine, or anywhere else, the answer is always to start wherever you are, right now!


Emma Wallin Hellsten, Co-founder and Head of analysis at Klimatsekretariatet

Svitlana Romanko, Founder and Director of Razom We Stand

Jonas Bane, Member of the climate activist group at the Swedish Climate Parliament (Klimatriksdagen)


Subscribe to latest updates

The newly installed Swedish government continues and intensifies the former government's outdated fossil-fuel centred response to the ongoing energy crisis. Increased prices on fossil fuel and electricity are met by subsidies of taxpayer monies. Beyond cutting taxes on diesel and fuel, Sweden’s new government plans to lower excise duties corresponding to a 10 percent increase of Sweden’s territorial emissions from fossil fuels. Moreover, the government will launch a retroactive compensation program with no cap for high electricity bills in the south of Sweden. In other words, Swedish citizens and companies who took action to save a lot of energy, will not benefit. 

When asked whether these measures may damage Sweden’s credibility in climate affairs at COP 27, the Swedish Minister of Environment and Climate, Romina Pourmokhtari, said she thought the world would show sympathy for the government “taking responsibility for the rough economic situation facing many Swedish households”.

This expectation, however, may be put to shame.That the Swedish government needs to support Swedish households through rough economic conditions is a no-brainer. However, that it chooses measures that actually aggravate the very cause of the problem, is not something the rest of the world will lightly tolerate. 

Fossil fuel keeps fueling the Russian war
Not only does the continued addiction of fossil fuels contribute to damaging and costly climate change, and inflation, but in Ukraine we see the real human damage that has been done by giving Russia billions to fund its brutal war machine. As of now, the EU has spent 108 billion euros on Russian fossil fuels since the full-scale war began – far outweighing the value of military support it has given Ukraine. Before it's recent war mobilisation, Moscow was estimated to have been spending roughly $876 million per day on the war. This means that now, over 200 days into the war, European money has made up a significant proportion of Putin’s war chest. The result is horrific, with war crimes continuing on a daily basis, and fossil fuel companies like the French TotalEnergies now even being accused of complicity in war crimes.

Furthermore, the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) has released a report explaining that, “Reducing the consumption of fossil fuels plays a key role in managing the impacts of Russia’s export cuts and EU’s import bans. Europe has reduced gas consumption in response to the high prices, but oil and coal consumption have increased”. 

Can we afford to spend the world’s carbon budget at a higher pace?
Zooming out from the ongoing atrocity in Ukraine, the already severe effects of roughly 1°C global warming highlights the importance of limiting future emissions of CO2 as much as possible. As IPCC keeps reminding us, “from the close link between cumulative emissions and warming it follows that any given level of global warming is associated with a total budget of GHG emissions, especially CO2. Stop to think about what this means for a minute. It means that climate change can be compared to filling a tub with water. If the faucet is kept open the water will sooner or later fill the tub and overflow it. This is true even if we tighten the tap. We merely approach the tub’s edge at a slower pace. To keep it from overflowing we have to close the faucet. Correspondingly, by decreasing CO2-emissions, we warm the planet at a slower pace, but each emitted ton CO2 still adds more warming effect. When speeding up emissions, we speed up warming, pushing the edges of the living conditions of humans, and many other species. Does it sound dramatic? It is. 

For a fair chance of keeping the temperature rise below 1.5 °C, as the globally supported UN Paris Agreement calls for, we have to limit future CO2 emissions to a global carbon budget of 280 Gt CO2, from today and onwards. This gives us less than seven years of emissions at today’s level before exceeding the budget. If the rest of the world were to follow Sweden’s example and increase yearly emissions by 10 percent, the same budget will be spent within the next six years instead. 

A common but differentiated responsibility 
To stay within the 1.5 °C carbon budget global emissions need to be reduced by 11 % each year. But this rate cannot be evenly held around the world. Some countries will need more time, which implies that some countries will have to act faster. This simple fact is recognised in article 2.2 of the Paris Agreement as the “common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances”. To accelerate emissions, as the Swedish government intends, amounts to claiming a larger portion of the remaining global carbon budget. What can possibly justify that?

Zooming back in on Ukraine may help to set the perspective. Major parts of the country's infrastructure, industry, and residential buildings are totally destroyed. Razom We Stand (and allies) are constantly pushing for a Green Deal for Ukraine, through which Ukraine may pursue a recovery towards a safer and more sustainable future. Sweden recently officially became a member of the International Energy Advisory Council established by the Ministry of Energy of Ukraine a week ago. Sweden could help us rebuild Ukraine green and achieve climate neutrality by 2040, increasing existing 2050 EU Green Deal ambitions. Renewable energy revolution is an outdated but achievable logical move away from fossil fueled wars and extreme energy insecurity. It will have to address the 40% damaged Ukrainian critical energy infrastructure, severe energy outages and deepest energy crisis that the fossil fueled russian war led us to. We have to phase out fossil fuels in Ukraine and globally and enforce four transformations for Ukraine to become a new green powerhouse of Europe. However, beyond  financial and immediate humanitarian relief, rebuilding costs CO2 emissions. Thus, if we are honest about wanting to support Ukraine – without giving up on global climate targets – we have all the more reason to make major and immediate cuts in CO2 emissions elsewhere. But where is elsewhere? 

As difficult as high prices on fuel and electricity may be, it is a burden that bleakens in comparison to the challenges facing Ukraine. Zooming out yet again to the rest of the world, the list of nations tackling far more difficult problems than Sweden (one of the ten wealthiest countries in the world) is very long. Thus elsewhere better be Sweden! 


On 15-16 November, Klimatriksdagen, Klimatsekretariatet and Uppsala University gathered climate scientists, Swedish local officials and climate activists to a conference in Uppsala on carbon budgeting. We digged deep into the question of how to keep CO2 emissions in Sweden within an amount corresponding to a fair contribution to global climate targets. We also determined to pursue that path, without help from the Swedish government. Svitlana Romanko from Razom We Stand, joined the conference from COP27 together with the famous climate scientist Svitlana Krakowska to remind us of what we risk losing if we do not act in the direction of decarbonization.

Together with the organizations of the conference, we have prepared the material above.

Press Release

As Ukraine's application for EU candidacy is being fast-tracked, and the EU is scrambling to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, the move to have Ukraine comply with environmental accounting standards (GHG protocol and SBTi) and make data on  GHG emissions public is vital. Only with such measures can Ukraine and the EU meet recommendations of the UN IPCC scientific report this week.


Energy response to Russia's war: open letter with four requests to the EU
Campaign Updates

                                                                                          To: Ursula von der Leyen  
Rue de la Loi / Wetstraat 200
1049 Brussels

Frans Timmermans
Rue de la Loi / Wetstraat 200
1049 Brussels

Charles Michel
Rue de la Loi/Wetstraat 175  
B-1048 Bruxelles/Brussel 

Razom We Stand calls on the Ukrainian authorities to implement greenhouse gas emissions accounting in accordance with international standards and open climate data for public access
Campaign Updates

The organization reached out to Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov, Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, and Chair of the State Statistics Service of Ukraine, Ihor Verner, to stress the critical importance of accounting for greenhouse gas emissions.



The methane rush off the climate cliff: EU and US must halt gas infrastructure expansion

Razom We Stand strongly condemns the global push for gas infrastructure expansion, including LNG terminals, given the dire environmental and climate consequences, as well as financial risks involved in creating stranded assets. With excess windfall profits stemming from market volatility worsened by Putin’s brutal invasion in Ukraine, the gas industry must be subject to taxation and regulation, not supported with public subsidies for their expansion plans.