Get out of oil and gas in the name of peace – this is what climate protection activists from 50 countries around the world are demanding. More than 465 organizations from 50 countries signed an open letter under the motto “Stand with Ukraine. End global fossil fuel addiction that feeds Putin’s war machine”. They are calling for a boycott.
The demands were drawn up by a dozen Ukrainian climate groups, including the Ukrainian Climate Network, the Institute for Urban Development, and the Ukrainian Nature Conservation Group.
“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,” the letter states. Putin is deliberately using natural gas as a weapon to further strengthen his energy supremacy over the European Union.
The war is financed by gas, coal, and oil industries
It is also clear that this “Putin’s war machine” is financed and fueled by the coal, oil, and gas industries. Therefore, the institutions that signed the letter urgently call for an end to dependence on fossil fuels as soon as possible and once and for all. That way, Putin’s income streams are to be brought to a standstill. The boycott of the companies Gazprom, Rosneft, Transneft, Surgutneftegas, Lukoil, and Russian Coal is mentioned directly.
Almost 50 organizations from Germany have already signed the demands (as of March 4, 2022). Organizations from Austria, Bulgaria, Bosnia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Poland, Hungary, the UK, and others also supported the initiative.
Boycott in the energy sector against Russia
The war in Ukraine has already caused an earthquake in the energy sector and prompted some international companies to withdraw from Russian business. The European energy companies BP from Great Britain, Equinor from Norway, and the Italian oil company ENI have already announced that they will stop business cooperation with Russia.
The oil giant Shell from Great Britain/Netherlands also “decided to withdraw out of conviction”, Shell Chairman Ben van Beurden announced. From the USA, ExxonMobil also announced that it would be turning away from the Russian business.
In Austria, OMV also reacted. It broke off negotiations with Gazprom on the possible acquisition of a 24.98% stake in the Urengoy natural gas and condensate field. In addition, participation in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is now being reviewed.
Bavaria is examining the expansion of nuclear and coal energy
However, the current situation is not just a push towards renewable energies. Due to concerns about the security of supply, some energy sources that have almost been shelved could now experience a revival, at least in Germany. According to information from the “Augsburger Zeitung”, the state of Bavaria is considering reactivating the Gundremmingen nuclear power plant. The actual decision lies with the federal government and the operator. The nuclear power plant was shut down late last year as part of Germany’s nuclear-free goal. According to current plans, the last nuclear reactors are to be taken off the grid at the end of this year.
In addition, the focus on coal will be increased again. So far, the new German federal government wanted to postpone the coal phase-out from 2038 to 2030 at best. Now, this could perhaps change again. The German Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck (Greens) told Deutschlandfunk this week: “In the short term, it may be that we have to keep coal-fired power plants in reserve, maybe even let them run, as a precautionary measure to be prepared for the worst .”