Honourable leaders of G20 states,
Expressing our respect, we would like to reiterate the message on the need to keep Russian fossil fuels in the ground and stop the expansion of Russian oil and gas infrastructure, particularly LNG infrastructure. On the latest, Ukrainian Civil Society Organizations have already addressed the European Commission in the hope of receiving a response in the form of respective political decisions.
Today we find it inconceivable that a representative of the Russian criminal regime is allowed to participate in the G20 Summit, while Russia’s dictator Vladimir Putin has been indicted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes in Ukraine. The invasion of Ukraine by Russian Federation forces under the direction of Vladimir Putin is a clear war against Ukrainian sovereignty and independence as well as a grave violation of human rights, international law, and global peace. This invasion confronts the world with the spectre of a grimmer future, where both natural and social systems could collapse and violence become the dominant force.
It is equally clear that Putin’s war machine has been funded, fed, and fuelled by the fossil fuel industry that is driving both the invasion of Ukraine and the climate crisis that threatens humanity’s future. There should be no place for Vladimir Putin or representatives of his regime at the G20 Summit or any other dignified international gatherings.
Since launching its full-scale war of aggression against Ukraine on 24 February 2022, Russia has amassed more than 440 billion US dollars in revenue from fossil-fuel exports. This colossal flow of money has made it possible for Russia to put its economy on a war footing and increase the production of weapons used in the brutal war against Ukraine, while also incentivising further expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure in Russia. Even now, after over a year and a half since the Russian Federation brutally assaulted Ukraine.
We call on all leaders of goodwill to end fossil fuel addiction once and for all. We call on G20 heads of state to take immediate action to phase out imports of fossil fuels from Russia and exit from any joint ventures in oil and gas with Russian companies. Russian officials are making every effort to engage G20 countries in joint venture infrastructure projects that could help Russia regain its former positions in the global oil and gas markets.
In July 2023 the price of Russian oil at the world market has risen above the G7 price cap, while embargoes imposed by the EU, the USA and UK are diluted by “laundromat” loopholes, as these countries continue to buy oil products produced from Russian crude oil.
While some G20 governments, such as Australia, Canada, the USA, the UK and the EU have responded to the gravity of Russia’s violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and committing countless war crimes, including targeting civilians with military strikes and kidnapping children, with a limited set of sanctions, the overall international response to existential threats to the world unleashed by Russia’s rampage is very weak.
Moreover, many of the world’s leading economies continue to contribute to Russia’s war effort by propping up the Kremlin’s main revenue streams by increasing imports of Russian fossil fuels and even investing in new Russian fossil fuel infrastructure. By doing this, the G20 leaders are putting themselves far more behind necessary commitments to equitable phase-out of all fossil fuels and setting 2030 as the target year for the phase-out of all fossil fuels subsidies and installation of at least 1.5 TW per annum of renewable energy while doubling energy efficiency deployment from 2022 levels every year.
So far, the G20 nations are hindering their own energy security, and the urgently needed decarbonisation of economies by allowing their companies to participate in oil and gas joint ventures with Russia and providing inefficient and harmful public subsidies that incentivise higher demand for fossil fuels.
Today, the G20 countries must be clearly aware of the consequences of their actions as too many are moving in concerning directions:
- The EU countries boosted liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports by 60% in 2022. In the first quarter of 2023, imports of Russian LNG to the EU were the highest in the last three years. Belgium, Spain and France are massively involved in the transhipment of Russian LNG.
- China continues to be Russia’s top buyer of fossil fuels, with imports reaching $30 billion in 2023 up until June 16, 2023, including 66% growth in Russian LNG imports. Deliveries of Russian oil to China in June 2023 increased by 44% compared to June last year and reached a historical maximum of 10.5 million tons.
- Brazil’s total diesel imports rose nearly 13% in June to reach 1.08 billion litres, with Russian suppliers providing 64%.
- India increased oil imports from Russia by 11 Times: On August 9, 2023, it was reported that from January to May 2023, Russia supplied almost 37 million tons of oil to India, which is almost 11 times more than in the same period last year.
- South Korea continues to increase LNG imports from Russia. In June of this year, 2.9 million tons were imported, which is 17% higher than in June 2022. The growth of LNG imports to South Korea for the first half of 2023 – by 1.6%, to more than 23 million tons.
- Mexico declined to impose economic sanctions on Russia.
- Argentina has not adopted any sanctions against Russia.
- Saudi Arabia buys around 180,000 barrels of Russian diesel every day, snaps it up and sends its own to Europe
- Turkey’s diesel and oil imports from Russia have surged to a seven-year high, and crude oil imports from Russia in Turkey increased to 781 000 t in May from 530 000 t in April of 2023.
- South Africa: bilateral trade between Russia and South Africa increased by 16.4% in 2022 compared to the previous year and reached US1.3 billion. Over the past two years, exports to the African continent of Russian crude oil, petroleum products and liquefied natural gas have increased by 2.6 times. Russia’s key investments in Africa are in the oil and gas sectors. Several Russian companies, such as Gazprom, Lukoil, Rostec, and Rosatom are active in Africa.
- Australia has prohibited the import, purchase or transport of Russian oil, gas, refined petroleum products and coal since 25 April 2022 but Tigers Realm Coal Limited, the Australian company continues coal mining activities in Russia.
We implore the G20 to get on track by fair and fast investing in clean energy technologies, including developing countries and post-war Ukraine to protect the economy and the planet. G20 governments must take immediate action to end reliance on Russian fossil fuels and stop the expansion of Russian oil and gas infrastructure, including LNG. G20 cannot afford to continue supporting Putin’s war machine and contributing to unravelling climate catastrophe. The democracy and human lives are at stake.
Yet there is some hope. The EU is pioneering the way to get rid of dependency on Russian fossil fuels. Falling demand drives collapse in demand for fossil fuels in the EU in 2023 by 17% to lowest on record in 2023 and 17 EU countries generated a record share of renewables from January to June. In the first six months of the calendar year 2023, Japan also reduced LNG imports from Russia by 16.5% compared to the same period a year earlier.
The other G20 countries must follow suit.
G20 governments must end this dreadful addiction to oil and gas for two essential reasons: to start solving the climate crisis and to dry up the funds for the brutal Russian war against the Ukrainian people, which also presents an onslaught on international rule of law and democracy.
Having this in mind, in light of the coming G20 Summit, we call to uphold commitments to climate action and peace by addressing these outstanding issues:
– Aligning national energy and climate policies with the demands of climate science and international justice by implementing effective policies to eliminate dependencies on Russian fossil fuels, including LNG.
– Imposing an immediate and effective ban on new investments in Russian fossil fuel infrastructure projects.
– Exiting from all existing fossil fuel projects and joint ventures with Russia, such as Arctic LNG-2 and Sakhalin-2.
– Strengthening and enforcing embargoes on all Russian fossil fuels and imposing permanent international sanctions against the Russian fossil fuel industry. World peace and climate action need consistent efforts to keep Russian fossil fuels in the ground and particularly prevent its expansion along the LNG vector.
- Razom We Stand, Ukraine
- NGO Khmelnytskyi Energy Cluster, Ukraine
- NGO Ecoclub, Ukraine
- NGO Green Liberty, Ukraine
- NGO SaveDnipro, Ukraine
- NGO Zero Waste Society, Ukraine
- ICO “Environment – People – Law”, Ukraine
- NGO Center for environmental initiatives “Ecoaction”, Ukraine
- DiXi Group, Ukraine
- NGO “Center for international cooperation and project implementation”, Ukraine
- NGO “Wetland park Osokorky”, Ukraine
- NGO “Danube-Carpathian Programme”, Ukraine
- NGO “Ukrainian Nature Conservation Group”, Ukraine
- NGO “Office for the Environment”, Ukraine
- NGO “Zero Waste Society”, Ukraine
- NGO “Black Sea Women’s Club”, Ukraine
- NGO “Plato”, Ukraine
- NGO “Ecoltava”
- NGO “Unique Planet”
- NGO “Information Center “Green Dossier”, Ukraine
- NGO EHA “Green World” (Ukraine)
- NGO “Social Initiative “City of the Sun”, Ukraine
- The coalition of NGOs and municipalities “Energy Transition”, Ukraine
- Earth Action, Inc. United States
- Physicians for Social Responsibility Arizona, USA
- ARRCC (Australian Religious Response to Climate Change)
- NGO Workshop for All Beings, Poland
- NGO Foundation “Rozwój TAK – Odkrywki NIE”, Poland
- Ekowyborca, Poland
- Jindra Čekanová, lesy Čekanová s.r.o., Czech Republic
- EKOenergy ecolabel, Finland
- Jamaa Resource Initiatives, Kenya
- Centre for Citizens Conserving Environment & Management (CECIC), Uganda
- Bond Beter Leefmilieu, Belgium
- Vredesactie, Belgium
- WeSmellGas, Belgium
- NGO GreenFaith, US/Kenya
- NGO Centre for Climate Safety, Australia
- NGO, Stand.earth, United States and Canada
- NGO, Quaker Action – Mid Atlantic Region
- Batani Foundation, USA
- Better Tomorrow Solar, USA
- SEE (Social Eco Education), USA
- Runder Tisch Erneuerbare Energien, Germany
- Community Matters Toronto, Canada
- Intelligence Flows, Canada