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E3G statement on invasion of Ukraine by Russia

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EU and Ukraine flags outside the Altiero Spinelli bulding of the European Parliament in Brussels. Photo by EPP Group via Flickr
EU and Ukraine flags outside the Altiero Spinelli bulding of the European Parliament in Brussels. Photo by EPP Group via Flickr

In response to the tragic events unfolding as a result of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, E3G expresses its solidarity with the Ukrainian people.

These events illustrate the deep entanglement between energy, security and geopolitics. The safety of all global citizens requires nations to cooperate and to urgently act to transform our energy systems to become zero carbon.

This is true not just for countries that rely on fossil fuel imports from Russia, but all those that depend on fossil fuel exporting regimes that limit democracy and human rights.

This rapid transformation must be driven by clear government signals and sustained action to shift trillions of dollars in public and private investment to zero carbon in this decade.

At the same time we must recognise that as we respond , the responsibility of citizens is different to that of Governments. It is therefore important that the citizens of all countries can engage in a just transition as we rapidly reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.

It is critical to use existing processes to accelerate this transformation immediately. The European Union’s Fit for 55 package provides a chance to take concrete action in the coming months to improve energy efficiency, increase renewables and build the electricity grids and interconnectors necessary for deep decarbonisation. This would enhance Europe’s energy security alongside delivering on climate action. At the same time it is imperative for the US and the UK to step up and put in place credible plans to accelerate their climate action.

However, current events must be a wake-up call for deeper change. Progressive nations must strengthen diplomatic alliances and firmly embed climate action in their foreign policy goals. The G7 Summit later this year will be a critical moment to demonstrate unity and strength on climate diplomacy. All countries should enhance action in line with the Glasgow Climate Pact, agreed at COP26 last year. It will be important for developed countries to actively engage and strengthen cooperation with developing countries on these issues. These events reveal the importance of continuing to invest in multilateral systems and all countries should look to strengthen the role of the United Nations to prevent future crisis emerging.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine comes at a time when the world is already wrestling with a climate and health crisis. The situation will continue to evolve in the coming days, weeks and months. Amidst the uncertainty and the immediate response to these events, it will also be important to tackle the drivers which link these crises together.

Shane Tomlinson, Acting CEO, E3G

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