Ukraine Zelensky: No Climate Action Without Peace

Volodymyr Zelenskyy, President of Ukraine. By President Of Ukraine link

Essay by Eric Worrall

Ukraine President Zelensky might have just jeopardised whatever remaining support he had with US Republicans, by tying climate action to support for Ukraine.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says climate change policy is impossible without peace

Posted Yesterday at 4:13am, updated Yesterday at 7:38am

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has distracted world governments from efforts to combat climate change, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said in a video message played at the COP27 climate conference in Egypt.

Key points:

  • Mr Zelenskyy criticised the impact of war and aggression on global joint actions on climate change 
  • Ukraine is hosting an exhibition space for the first time at a UN climate conference
  • Andrew Forrest called for a pause to seabed mining at COP27

“There can be no effective climate policy without the peace,” Mr Zelenskyy said.

“This Russian war has brought about an energy crisis that has forced dozens of countries to resume coal-fired power generation in order to lower energy prices for their people … to lower prices that are shockingly rising due to deliberate Russian actions.

“[It] brought an acute food crisis to the world, which hit worst those suffering the existing manifestations of climate change.

“The Russian war destroyed 5 million acres of forests in Ukraine in less than six months.”

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President Biden has been generous in his support for President Zelensky, but this support is costing the USA a great deal of money.

However, Congress is likely going to be in Republican hands going forward, and Congress controls the purse strings. Continued US support for Ukraine to some extent will depend on Zelensky’s relationship with the US Republicans.

Congressional Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy has already indicated he won’t be writing any blank cheques.

House Republicans divided over aid to Ukraine ahead of midterms

McCarthy says Congress won’t ‘write a blank cheque’ while another senior Republicans says Ukrainians should ‘get what they need’

Julian Borger in Washington Wed 19 Oct 2022 06.24 AEDT

Kevin McCarthy, the House minority leader, told the Punchbowl Newswebsite on Tuesday: “I think people are going to be sitting in a recession and they’re not going to write a blank cheque to Ukraine.

“They just won’t do it,” McCarthy added. “It’s not a free blank cheque. And then there’s the things [the Biden administration] is not doing domestically: not doing the border and people begin to weigh that. Ukraine is important, but at the same time it can’t be the only thing they do, and it can’t be a blank cheque.”

A few hours later, however, the ranking Republican on the House foreign affairs committee, Michael McCaul, who is likely to run the committee in the event of a Republican win in November, argued that arms supplies to Ukraine should be stepped up.

“We’ve got to give them what they need. When we give them what they need, they win,” McCaul said on the Bloomberg television channel. In particular he referred to the Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS), which has a longer range than the missiles the administration is currently providing.

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I understand Zelensky’s motivation, in his position I would talk to anyone and everyone, and say anything, to get the weapons needed to fight Russia.

But stepping into the climate change arena is playing with fire, in ways Zelensky may not be aware of. Supporting the opponents of the people who now hold the purse strings in the USA is a dangerous move, for someone who utterly depends on continued US generosity.

Zelensky should remember, the USA is under no obligation to help. It is not America’s job to sign blank cheques to fund every feel good righteous sounding cause, especially when Europe could be doing a lot more to pull their weight.

The trillions of dollars Europe plans to squander on renewables in the next few years are only available because the USA helps pay for Europe’s defence – otherwise Europe would need much of that money to fund their own armies and equipment, instead of relying on the USA to pay the bills. So, I completely understand people who feel Europe and the rest of the world are taking America’s generosity for granted.

via Watts Up With That?

November 10, 2022