At the COP27 UN climate conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, there are more than 600 fossil fuel lobbyists, including Russian oligarchs and businesses that have been sanctioned in reaction to the invasion of Ukraine.
After the UAE, the Russian delegation has the second-highest number of participants with connections to the fossil fuel sector with 33. DeSmog discovered that of those 33, more than half are either sanctioned themselves or have connections to other sanctioned people or businesses.
According to Ukrainian delegate Dr. Oleksiy Ryabchyn, “[It’s] ridiculous to know that Russian oligarchs are creeping through the halls.” The fact that they can move around without restriction is absurd. For me, these oligarchs shouldn’t be [at COP] if they can’t put an end to this brutal conflict.
DeSmog estimated that there were a total of 18 Russian delegates who were either linked to or personally sanctioned. Among them were Oleg Deripaska and Andrey Melnichenko, two coal oligarchs. Deripaska owns shares in multiple coal companies. The Guardian reports that he had had connections to the aluminum business. The UK has currently imposed sanctions on him. Meanwhile, the EU has imposed personal sanctions on Melnichenko. He gave his wife control of Siberian Coal Energy Company, Russia’s largest coal producer, the day before the sanctions went into effect in March, according to DeSmog.
Delegates from a number of sanctioned corporations were also present, according to The Guardian. Among these businesses were:
- Gazprom: A gas company under U.S. and EU sanctions sent six delegates.
- Sberbank: A Russian bank sanctioned by the U.S. and the EU sent its managing director.
- Tatneft: An EU-sanctioned oil and gas company sent three delegates.
- Lukoil: An oil company sanctioned by the U.S.
- Severstal: A mining company sanctioned by the U.S.
- Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works: A steel producer sanctioned by the U.S.
Three Sibur delegates were additionally present, according to Desmog. The former CEO of this, the largest petrochemical corporation in Russia, Dmitry Konov, resigned in March after being the target of UK and EU sanctions.
Global Witness senior campaigner Louis Wilson responded to the findings by claiming that the petrodollars produced by the fossil fuel companies that Russia has invited into the COP27 are used to pay its war crimes, as reported by Desmog. Our research has already shown that these crucial discussions are heavily influenced by the interests of major polluters. The UN’s climate negotiations are made even more absurd by include the military cash machines for Putin’s regime that are fueled by Russian oil and gas.
Due to its twice the average global warming rate, Russia is especially sensitive to the climate issue. Nevertheless, it is the fourth-highest emitting nation in the world.
The invasion of Ukraine by Russia has the potential to undermine efforts being made throughout the world to address the climate catastrophe as Europe scrambles to make up for short-term reductions in gas imports from that nation.
According to Reuters, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy remarked in a video message shown at the COP27 that “successful climate policy cannot exist without peace.” Numerous nations have been compelled to restart coal-fired power generation as a result of the energy crisis brought on by the Russian war in order to reduce their citizens’ drastically growing energy expenses.
The Ukrainian delegation has also drawn attention to the direct effects the invasion has done to the environment.
According to Svitlana Grynchuk, Ukraine’s assistant environment minister, this is more than just a battle; it is state terrorism and ecocide, as The Guardian noted. Wildlife has been slaughtered, pollution has been produced, and social unrest has resulted from the invasion. Our power plants are still receiving missiles from the terrorist state. Due to this terrorist strike, our ecosystem is in danger.
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On the other hand, the energy crisis can serve as a practical reminder of the value of switching from unstable fossil fuels to more dependable renewable sources. As a means of undermining Russia’s clout, which it has gained from the export of fossil fuels, Ukraine is likewise supporting the switch to renewable energy.
According to The Guardian, U.S. Climate Envoy John Kerry stated that EU and American officials were positive that the war speeds up the transformation.