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BRUSSELS: European NGOs are calling on the EU to stop financing Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine by banning all oil and gas imports from Russia.
 
Russia exported US$104 billion in oil and US$43.4 billion worth of gas to Europe and the UK last year.

The 25-member coalition is also demanding that gas stations publish the country of origin to ensure consumers do not inadvertently fund the Putin regime.

While acknowledging sanctions will lead to higher energy prices, the group says the International Energy Agency can deploy its 90-day supply of oil to support countries with high exposure to Russia.

“The rockets destroying Ukrainian cities are bought with the petrol in European cars. For 20 years we’ve been paying blood money to Putin. Ending our oil addiction is not just a moral imperative to address climate change, it is crucial to ending this war,” declared Transport & Environment executive director William Todts.

The organisations want the EU and UK to take the following action to help stop the war in Ukraine:
 
"
• Introduce an import tariff on Russian fossil fuel imports into Europe to reduce Russian oil profits ahead of a complete end to Russian fossil fuel imports into Europe, in line with the Paris climate and energy goals.

• Publish the origin of fuel at gas stations to inform drivers. We demand oil companies, fuel retailers and petrol stations disclose what share of petrol and diesel sold originates from Russia. We ask governments to introduce rules to ensure fuel retailers provide this information.

• Urgently adopt an action plan to reduce oil consumption in the short term, as simply shifting from Russian oil to Middle Eastern oil or other sources is not a solution, not for the climate, not for human rights, and not for energy security. Potential transport measures include maintaining high shares of homeworking and virtual collaboration to avoid unnecessary car and air travel, speed reductions, eco-driving, driving restrictions, promotion of walking, cycling and public transport, and the organisation of car-free weekends in cities. All of this will reduce reliance on imported oil, and reduce the upward pressure on oil prices.

• Set a new goal of achieving 50 percent battery electric car and van sales by 2025. The EU and UK CO2 standards should be brought forward to help achieve this goal. Special targets should be set to electrify high mileage vehicles such as company cars, fleets, taxis, and buses as replacing them with electric drive would have the largest near term oil demand impact.

• Introduce measures to radically and immediately accelerate the build out of wind and solar power and to accelerate energy efficiency measures, in particular renovation of buildings, which also tackles energy poverty.

• EU and its member states should double investment in energy saving and climate friendly investments as part of the €723 billion EU Recovery and Resilience funds.

• The Commission should immediately withdraw its proposal to label gas as 'green' in the European Sustainable Finance Taxonomy. The EU should also cancel its plans to shift shipping to LNG as this would increase our dependence on gas imports.

• Facing major supply uncertainties about food and feed crop supplies from two of the EU’s main suppliers, Russia and the Ukraine, the EU and its member states must immediately suspend the use of food and feed crops in biofuels to ensure food security and to avoid massive food price inflation in Europe and beyond.
 
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“Russia’s illegal war against Ukraine is devastating for the people of our country. Russian missiles and bombs are killing hundreds of Ukrainian defenders and civilians. This will only get worse,” commented Heorhiy Veremiychyk from the National Ecological Center of Ukraine. “We need urgent action to cripple the Putin regime’s ability to fund the war. Russia continues to receive payments from European governments that inadvertently fund Russia’s assault on Ukraine. That must end.”

The NGO coalition includes:

• National Ecological Center of Ukraine (Ukraine)
• Transport & Environment (EU)
• Cittadini per l’Aria (Italy)
• Legambiente (Italy)
• Réseau Action Climat (France)
• VCD (Germany)
• Zero (Portugal)
• Levego (Hungary)
• VCÖ (Austria)
• Green Transition Denmark (Denmark)
• FPPE (Poland)
• 2Celsius (Romania)
• BRAL (Belgium)
• IEW (Belgium)
• Transform Scotland (UK)
• Aviation Environment Federation (UK)
• Milieudefensie (Netherlands)
• Campaign for Better Transport (UK)
• Green Economy Institute (Poland)
• VšĮ “Žiedinė ekonomika (Lithuania)
• PKE (Polish Ecological Club) (Poland)
• WAS (Warsaw Smog Alert) (Poland)
• INSPRO (Institute for Public Affairs) (Poland)
• Eco Union (Spain)
• Sustainable Development Initiatives DVI (Lithuania)
 
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