UN Chief Slams Fossil Fuel Industry for Using Ukraine War to Boost Profits

United Nations Secretary-Common António Guterres on Saturday slammed the fossil gas trade for attempting to make use of Russia’s struggle on Ukraine to spice up polluters’ income on the expense of the worldwide local weather and all life on Earth.

“Fossil gas pursuits are actually cynically utilizing the struggle in Ukraine to attempt to lock in a excessive carbon future,” Guterres tweeted. “A shift to renewables is essential to mending our damaged world power combine and providing hope to tens of millions struggling local weather impacts right now.”

Local weather motion advocates welcomed the U.N. chief’s message — together with American writer and activist Invoice McKibben, who said that Guterres “might perceive this second higher than some other official on the planet. And this can be an important tweet of the spring.”

Guterres’ tweet adopted his Thursday trip to websites of alleged struggle crimes in Ukraine. In the course of the tour, he mentioned that “the struggle is evil,” emphasised the necessity for “a radical investigation and accountability,” and urged Russia to cooperate with the Worldwide Felony Court docket — which opened a probe after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched the invasion in February.

Putin’s struggle has not solely impacted Russians and Ukrainians; it has additionally disrupted the worldwide provide of meals and gas. Western governments have responded to the invasion by arming Ukraine and sanctioning Russia — a key exporter of oil and gasoline.

U.S. President Joe Biden and European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen final month announced a joint activity pressure supposed “to cut back Europe’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels and strengthen European power safety.” In a letter to the pair earlier this month, over 200 teams referred to as for ramping up the clear power transition somewhat than boosting fossil gas shipments from the US to Europe.

“Any growth of liquefied pure gasoline (LNG) infrastructure will additional reliance on fossil fuels, which is incompatible with local weather science, justice, in addition to U.S. and E.U. commitments to local weather management,” the teams wrote. “We should additionally stress that new fossil gas infrastructure will hurt communities close to fracking wells, pipelines, energy vegetation, and LNG infrastructure.”

“LNG infrastructure can take three years or extra to return on-line, diverting sources away from the infrastructure investments that can truly assist quickly cut back demand for gasoline,” they famous. “Redirecting present LNG exports, mixed with power effectivity measures and an all-out mobilization to renewable power, may instantly tackle Europe’s present reliance on Russian gasoline.”

The continued struggle coincides with the early April release of the newest Intergovernmental Panel on Local weather Change (IPCC) report — which led Guterres to declare that the world, however notably wealthy nations most chargeable for air pollution, “should triple the velocity of the shift to renewable power.”

“Meaning transferring investments and subsidies from fossil fuels to renewables — now,” he mentioned on the time. “Most often, renewables are already far cheaper. It means governments ending the funding of coal, not simply overseas, however at house.”

Local weather campaigners and progressive U.S. lawmakers have accused fossil gas giants of utilizing the struggle to cost gouge shoppers whereas filling the pockets of high executives and shareholders. Members of Congress are weighing a windfall income tax supposed to stop such habits by corporations whereas offering reduction through rebates to folks facing excessive costs on the pump.

As Widespread Desires reported Friday, Chevron and ExxonMobil introduced that their income soared in the course of the first quarter of this 12 months — to $6.3 billion and $5.5 billion, respectively — bolstering calls for for a windfall tax.

“That is theft,” asserted Fossil Free Media director Jamie Henn, calling on Congress to move a tax invoice. “Large Oil is deliberately profiteering off the struggle in Ukraine — a disaster they helped create by working with Putin for many years to broaden Russian oil and gasoline manufacturing.”