Ukrainians have called on the world to support their struggle against Putin’s atrocities by cutting off this huge source of income. Under immense public pressure, the United States, United Kingdom and European Union have announced measures to reduce their dependence on Russian fossil fuels. Some fossil fuel companies and energy traders have sworn off Russian energy – publicly at least.
Yet still, billions of dollars are flowing into Russia each month, funding war crimes. We uncovered that, in the year after Russia launched its invasion, Western companies traded 533 million barrels of Russian oil including crude oil worth $14.8 billion.
Global Witness investigations have revealed the continued involvement of British and European firms in the trade of Russian oil.
All the while, Russia exploits a loophole that allows it to send oil to third countries, who refine it and sell it straight back to Western markets.
Every dollar that flows to Russia is another bullet which can be used indiscriminately against Ukrainian civilians. As a result of this continuing trade and the resulting instability in energy markets, fossil fuel companies reported bumper profits. Many enjoyed record-breaking windfalls last year.
We’re investigating the ecosystem of companies who have enabled the trade including insurers, financiers, technology providers and shippers, and campaigning for the US, EU and UK to place total and complete sanctions on Russian fossil fuels, to ensure not a single cent, pound, or dime makes it into the Russian war chest through oil, gas and coal. And we are campaigning to ensure that leaders don’t replace Russian supply with other sources of climate-wrecking fossil fuels that fund conflict and human rights abuses across the world.
Just as the world made significant progress on equity, security and prosperity following the tragedy of World War II, this dark moment must prove a turning point in our fight for a sustainable future. If we are serious about a world without war, and about respect for human rights and justice, we need a world without the destructive influence of fossil fuels.
If we cannot end the age of fossil fuels in the face of civilian slaughter and the destruction of our planet, what will it take for us to act?