Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe stands in solidarity with the people in Ukraine and neighboring countries that are affected by the war.

While we wish for the de-escalation of the war, we urge all parties to abide by the International Humanitarian Law that protects civilians from the attacks.

People all over the world are already weakened by the impacts of climate change, the COVID pandemic and ongoing wars. The recent IPCC report gives a scary picture of the impacts that are already being felt everywhere on this planet, and much harsher in the Global South. We don’t want another armed conflict to bring more instability and loss of life. We don’t want it and we call for an immediate ceasefire.

Fossil fuels and climate change impacts exacerbate conflicts, driving the most vulnerable people to suffer even more.

This war has made even clearer how heavily Europe relies on fossil fuels. Also, it has shone a light on our public finances and how relevant it is to be aware in which hands they end. Taxpayers’ money can even trigger wars.

We need a fossil fuel phase out. And to do that, we need a fast, just transition away from coal, oil and gas to energy savings and renewable energy. This is the only viable course to rapidly reduce the EU’s dependence on fossil fuels while fairly contributing to achieving the goal of the Paris Agreement to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C.

However, countries in Europe and the EU are not doing this at the speed required.

The EU and states should upscale climate ambition while ensuring energy security, including through the ‘Fit for 55’ climate and energy legislative package. Its integrity and ambition should be treasured and enhanced. This is a precious chance to make it right.

The EU and members need to urgently accelerate action to significantly reduce energy demand and achieve a fully renewable energy system.

At the same time, short-term measures taken by European countries and the EU to face the energy crisis should not jeopardise the path travelled on climate action avoiding by all means fossil fuels infrastructure expansion with a lock-in effect and other false solutions.

This needs to be a turning point for the energy transition.

What will this transition bring if done fairly? A more resilient, peaceful, and climate safer future, where political action with people’s engagement leads us to consume less energy that is sustainable, renewable and affordable.

Societies with renewable energy that is accessible to all will not only help to tackle the climate crisis, but also ensure energy security whilst being the best insurance against future energy price surges to protect the most vulnerable.

A transition to a 100% renewable energy system is also a transition to more peaceful societies.

While we call for peace, we try to keep up our work on climate action in these difficult times. There is no time to lose.