European Council: As the world looks on in horror at Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, Europe faces its biggest crisis in decades.
European leaders meeting today and tomorrow at an informal European Council are being urged to lead a call on the European Commission to propose an action plan by Easter to urgently end our dependence on Russian oil and reduce oil consumption. Language to that end should be included in the EU Council conclusions.
Ending our fossil fuel addiction, starting with Russian oil, gas and coal is no longer purely a climate objective, it is an urgent moral imperative. Many citizens want to show solidarity with Ukraine by saving energy — this sends a powerful signal — but the primary responsibility and power to act lies with governments.
The European Union and the entire free world are imposing exceptional economic sanctions on Russia. The partial exclusion of Russian banks from the SWIFT system is a major step.
We are calling on governments to take decisive action to shield vulnerable households and businesses from the negative impacts of the ongoing and worsening energy crisis. Freezing trade with Russia will have further negative effects. But Putin’s extraordinary military aggression does require an extraordinary response. Inaction would be to condone the destruction of a free and democratic Ukraine and its people.
Originally published on Transport & Environment.
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