Scientists have been warning for decades that burning fossil fuels is one of the main causes of climate change, leading to increased frequency and intensity of heat waves, depletion of water resources, large-scale wildfires that spread rapidly, destroy ecosystems and threaten entire communities.
Fossil fuel companies have prioritised profit over concern for people and the planet, building elaborate campaigns to deny the climate crisis and their responsibility for making it worse. They will continue to do so, blaming "natural cycles" and ordinary citizens, while those of us most vulnerable and least responsible for the situation suffer disproportionately the worst effects.
We are experiencing a lethal overlap of global crises: the health crisis, the war in Ukraine, the refugee crisis, the energy and economic crises, the climate and nature crises, all of which are amplifying each other. We are all affected, but not equally, and this is increasingly evident at local level: the south-east of Romania is hit by drought and vegetation fires, hundreds of villages and towns have run out of water, desertification threatens 11 million Romanians living in the plains, as well as the food security of the most vulnerable among us.
Global warming is not just about excessive heat, but about a major disruption of our climate systems, which is only in its early stages. The window of opportunity in which we can still act is closing every day. This is why we can no longer "burn the gas" without sealing the fate of millions of species on which life on Earth depends and calling into question human civilisation itself.
Russia is the European Union's main supplier of oil, gas and coal, which are directly financing the invasion of Ukraine. Since the start of the war, EU states have poured more than €72 billion into Putin's war chest. That means lives lost every day and an accelerating deepening of the climate crisis. If we choose to replace fossil fuels from dictatorial regimes with other fossil fuels as a way to get out from that deepening crisis, we are only continuing to dig our own hole. Every step towards transitioning to clean, renewable energy and focusing on energy efficiency is a step towards security and a greener, more peaceful future for all. Instead of feeding the war machine and adding fuel to the fire, we can focus our efforts on resilience, energy independence and long-term security.
Alin Tănase, Greenpeace Romania campaigner, says: "We need the government to make the fight against climate change their top priority, and do everything in their power to protect and restore natural habitats that sustain us all. We will never be secure in a world dependent on fossil fuels, and our answer cannot be just to change suppliers. The Romanian government must take concrete steps for a fair and equitable transition to renewable energy so that the crisis we face does not worsen. It is time for the Romanian authorities to prioritise our future, not the profits of fossil fuel companies. Investments in renewables and energy saving should be treated as a national priority. Romania must accelerate the energy transition with ambitious renewable energy and energy efficiency objectives and set clear targets for phasing out all fossil fuels."
Greenpeace calls on the Romanian government to urgently implement measures to increase energy efficiency in both buildings and industry, actively support prosumers and energy democracy, invest in improving clean energy infrastructure as well as public transport systems, plant a national network of protective forests and provide real support for citizens most vulnerable to climate change.
Greenpeace’s goal is to ensure the ability of the earth to nurture life in all its diversity. We use peaceful protest and creative confrontation to expose global environmental problems and promote solutions that are essential for a green and peaceful future.