A recent digital counter which has been developed by Europe Beyond Coal has disclosed that the EU spent an estimated €60 billion on Russian coal, oil and gas since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine began.
Rather than propping up EU dependence on Russian energy, this amount could have paid for considerable renewable energy sources. The graphic below illustrates just how many green energy sources could have been purchased.
The EU has spent €32.5 billion on Russian oil, €25.9 billion on fossil gases, and €1.6 billion on coal. Belgium spent €1.5 billion on oil, €800 million on gas, and €158 million on coal.
Europe Beyond Coal, in collaboration with Ukrainian NGOs Stand With Ukraine and Ecoaction, as well as the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA), launched the new tracking tool appealing to Member States to embrace the green transition and move away from Russian fossil fuel. This is both for the climate and to stop Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.
In a press statement, Europe Beyond Coal campaign director, Kathrin Gutmann, said, “If we want to ensure peace, achieve energy independence & tackle the increasing climate and cost of living emergencies, our governments, as well as energy industry need to end fossil fuel payments and invest heavily in renewable energy.”
Russia continues to exert considerable political pressure on the EU by playing on the energy needs of the Member States who do not yet have the green energy capacity to forego fossil fuels. The instability in energy markets as a result of international sanctions has served only to benefit Russia.
According to the Bank of Russia statistics, 2022 was a record year for Russian public finances. Russia is currently running a current account surplus of around $96 billion on the back of high commodity prices. For this year, total revenue for oil and gas will amount to $285 billion, as estimated by several reports.
Meanwhile, Hed of the energy department at EcoAction, Kostiantyn Krynytskyi, said, “Russian fossil fuels are powering the war on my country. The export of fossil fuels is the bedrock of the Russian economy. Overall, oil and gas provide approximately 40% of the federal budget revenue and make up close to 60% of Russian exports.”
“By purchasing Russian fossil fuels, EU nations are fuelling an atrocious war. They are morally obliged to conclude this terrible charade by imposing a total ban on all coal, oil and fossil gas imports from Russia,” notes Svitlana Romanko, campaign lead at Stand With Ukraine.