08 June 2022

Upgraded web tool shows what the billions wasted on Russian fossil fuels could buy instead if spent on peace-promoting renewables

BERLIN, 8 JUNE 2022 – EU nations have now spent an estimated 60 billion euros on Russian coal, oil, and fossil gas since the country launched its war of aggression against Ukraine over 100 days ago. Europe Beyond Coal’s newly expanded tracking tool now also highlights the renewable energy solutions and power savings programmes that this increasing amount of money could purchase instead. 

If we want to secure peace, achieve energy independence, and tackle the growing climate and cost of living emergencies, our governments, and energy industry need to end fossil fuel payments now, and invest heavily in renewable energy, ambitious energy savings and electrification measures. Our calculations show that for the tens of billions wasted on Russian fossil fuels since the invasion of Ukraine, EU countries could have instead invested in approximately 735,000 new solar rooftops, 7,300 football pitches worth of solar PV, 1900 onshore wind turbines, 300 offshore wind turbines, 270,000 newly insulated homes, and close to a million installed heat pumps,” said Kathrin Gutmann, Europe Beyond Coal campaign director.

By purchasing Russian fossil fuels, EU countries are fueling an atrocious war in our country and violent conflicts elsewhere in the world. They are morally obliged to bring this terrible charade to an end by imposing a total ban on all coal, oil and fossil gas imports from Russia. Not only will Ukrainians thank them for this, their own people will too, as in the long term they will enjoy greater energy security and lower energy bills,” said Svitlana Romanko, campaign lead at Stand With Ukraine. 

For decades, Europe’s biggest buyers of Russian fossil fuels have chosen to turn a blind eye to the Kremlin’s violations against human rights, and environmental and international laws. The stark consequences of this moral and strategic mistake are now clear for all to see. This is not the time for “business as usual“. Their contributions to Russia’s war machine must stop NOW,” said Kostiantyn Krynytskyi, head of energy at Ukrainian NGO, Ecoaction.

Europe has sleepwalked into dependence on Russian fossil fuels. The moral imperative now is to rapidly stop importing them. Ramping up spending on energy efficiency and fossil free, renewable energy sources is essential to replacing these supplies, and will also help to avoid a global price spiral that would deliver further windfall profits to Russia. There are already good examples of policies to accelerate the take up of heat pumps, insulate houses, and produce green energy. These now need to be mainstreamed across the entire region,” said Lauri Myllyvirta, lead analyst at the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air.

ENDS

Contacts

Alastair Clewer, Senior Communications Manager, Europe Beyond Coal (English)
[email protected], +49 176 433 07 185

Svitlana Romanko, Campaign Lead, Stand With Ukraine (English, Ukrainian)
[email protected]

Kostiantyn Krynytskyi, Head of Energy, Ecoaction (English, Ukrainian)
[email protected]

Lauri Myllyvirta, Lead Analyst, Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) (English, Finnish), [email protected]

Notes

  1. The counter is available here: https://beyond-coal.eu/russian-fossil-fuel-tracker/
  2. The counter uses real-time shipping data from Marinetraffic.com and Datalastic, live data on fossil gas flows from ENTSO-G, and recent Eurostat data, to display an estimate for EU member state spending on Russian fossil fuels. The new feature, added today, allows users to see how this money could have been spent on green solutions instead. Details on data and methodology are available here:
    https://energyandcleanair.org/financing-putins-war/methodology/
  3. The “Shocked into action” report by the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air and think tank Ember, details how European countries are accelerating the shift away from fossil fuels to renewable energy. https://ember-climate.org/insights/research/eu-slashes-fossil-fuels/

About

Europe Beyond Coal is an alliance of civil society groups working to ensure a just transition to a fossil-free, fully renewables-based European energy sector. This means exiting coal entirely by 2030 at the latest, and fossil gas by 2035 in the power sector. We devote our time and resources to this independent campaign because we are committed to seeing a European energy system that protects people, nature and our global climate: www.beyond-coal.eu

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