SWITCH OFF PUTIN
EVERY DAY for its oil, gas and coal.
The EU is funding Putin's war machine and the killing of Ukrainian citizens.
THIS MUST END
THE OPEN CALL
To the leaders of Europe,
The brutality of Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine has shocked the world. The Russian dictator is now formally accused of war crimes by the United States, and sanctions have been imposed by democratic countries across the world. In Europe, however, these sanctions have not included oil and gas – instead we have continued to send half a billion euros per day to the Kremlin in payments for Russian fossil fuels.
The Ukrainian government has begged Europe to stop buying Russian fossil fuels. We can and must answer this call. It is unthinkable that Europe should be funding Putin’s war machine while it is raining bombs and missiles down on Ukrainian schools and hospitals. Oil, gas and coal imports must cease immediately, and Europe must shift to a war economy in order to tackle this emergency.
Increasing domestic energy production can help, but will take time to ramp up. Therefore, to urgently reduce energy consumption, we, the undersigned, call for the temporary introduction of energy rationing until domestic energy production can fill the gap left by Russian oil and gas. To ensure that the poor are not hardest hit, such rationing must be done on a fair shares basis and not simply through the price mechanism. It can be part-funded through a 200 billion euro windfall tax on energy companies making abnormal profits due to high prices.
As part of a war economy and energy rationing approach, we support in principle the following immediate measures:
Suspending all business and internal flights within continental Europe.
Providing free public transport.
Mandating companies and households to turn thermostats down to 18C next winter.
Abandoning plans to shut down nuclear plants and urgently restarting shuttered reactors.
To get through the first year, we also support bringing coal back online and dramatically increasing the deployment of wind and solar electricity.
The measures needed have been explored in RePlanet’s ‘Ukraine Energy Solidarity Plan’, illustrating the feasibility of an immediate cessation of Russian oil and gas imports. These measures are radical but achievable, if we start now.
Europe must tackle this challenge collectively, using the principle of solidarity which underpins the European Union. This will be a combination of the Marshall Plan and the Berlin Airlift, as those member states with spare resources must assist those most dependent on Putin for their energy. Refineries, pipelines, electricity connectors – all must be shared to support those most in need, so no country suffers an undue burden.
Europe is not energy-dependent on Putin by accident. This is a trap the Russian dictator laid over many years for a generation of European politicians, a trap which he has now sprung. In his arrogance, Putin thinks we will lack the courage and strength to stand up to him. He thought the same about the Ukrainians.
With their unity and bravery, they proved him wrong – and so can we.