Climate Groups to Biden: Back Ukraine Peace Talks

In their letter, the groups detailed a number of harmful effects the war in Ukraine has had on the planet in its first 14 months, including the sabotage of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines.

President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Feb. 20, during an unannounced visit to Kiev. (White House/Adam Schultz)

By Julia Conley
Common Dreams

From greenhouse gas emissions stemming from rocket attacks to the threat of “the ultimate environmental crime” of nuclear war, U.S anti-war and climate action groups last week told President Joe Biden and members of Congress that the long-standing call for peace talks in Ukraine is “all the more urgent” as the damage the war has done to the planet becomes clearer. 

CodePink led more than 2,300 “people of conscience” and groups including Amazon Watch, North America and Extinction Rebellion U.S. in a letter to Biden saying that “based on climate justice reasons alone,” the U.S. government must use its power to ensure that peace talks between Russia and Ukraine happen swiftly. 

The groups detailed a number of harmful effects the war has had on the planet in its first 14 months, including the sabotage of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, which the United Nations Environment Program said may have caused the largest-ever single leak of methane. The potent greenhouse gas that can trap 87 times more heat than carbon dioxide in its first two decades in the atmosphere.

On a day-to-day basis, the war is contributing to further fossil fuel emissions as hundreds of thousands of soldiers, their munitions, and people who have been forced to flee their homes make millions of trips across Ukraine. The conflict has also had a considerable impact on public health as communities face the long-lasting byproducts of war even after soldiers retreat from their cities and towns.

“As the fighting has now gone on for a year with no end in sight, Ukraine braces itself for further disruption of local ecosystems, forest fires, blackened trees, air pollution, sewage leaks, and chemical contamination of rivers and groundwater in Ukraine,” said the groups in the letter.

“If any leader of a nation is even remotely serious about protecting the sanctity of life, they would push for a cease-fire and use their influence to establish peace talks.”

No Man’s Land between Russian and Ukraining forces during the Battle of Bakhmut, November 2022. (, CC BY 4.0, Wikimedia Commons)

Lennard de Klerk, a Dutch carbon accounting expert who is preparing a report on the war’s climate impact that’s expected to be presented to the U.N. in June, told Time in February that the carbon footprint of the conflict in its first year was an estimated 155 million metric tons — the equivalent of the Netherlands’ yearly output — due to explosions, the reconstruction of buildings, transportation, forest fires and other factors. 

The letter also points out that Western sanctions on Russian oil have led the U.S. to increase its energy exports to Europe, doubling liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports from 2021 to 2022, sending 1.75 million barrels of crude oil across the Atlantic Ocean daily — a 70 percent increase from 2021. 

CodePink reported that when organizers delivered the letter to congressional offices last Thursday, they encountered Capitol Hill staffers who “were unaware of the deadly environmental consequences of militarism and active war.”

“We will continue to educate, organize, and disrupt until not only the connection is made but action is taken to save people and the planet,” said CodePink organizer Teddy Ogborn. He added:

“War can no longer be a policy option for nations. If any leader of a nation is even remotely serious about protecting the sanctity of life, they would push for a cease-fire and use their influence to establish peace talks.”

The more than $100 billion the U.S. has spent on aid to Ukraine in the last year — and billions more spent by European countries — has come with an opportunity cost, said the groups. The Global South has been left waiting for wealthy countries to fulfill “their 2009 promise to invest $100 billion a year to help poorer countries adapt to climate change.”

“Now the world is looking to the wealthier nations for a loss and damage fund,” they wrote. “Instead of pouring our resources into war, we should be investing these resources into seriously addressing the climate crisis.”

The letter was delivered to the White House and Congress a day after CodePink co-founder Diane Wilson received the Goldman Environmental Prize for her work to hold petrochemical giant Formosa Plastics accountable for illegally dumping toxic waste on the Gulf Coast of Texas. 

During the award ceremony at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., CodePink organizer Olivia DiNucci walked onto the stage as Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) addressed the crowd. DiNucci carried a sign that read, “War Is Not Green,” while other activists chanted: “Stop the war in Ukraine. We need peace talks.”

“It’s a huge hypocrisy to have Nancy Pelosi speak at an environmental ceremony,” said DiNucci. “Pelosi voted for almost a trillion-dollar Pentagon budget. That money should go for climate justice. The people awarded today represent communities that have been devastated by our war machine.”

Prior to the event Pelosi had explicitly told CodePink co-founder Medea Benjamin, “We don’t need peace talks. We need victory.”

U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency documents leaked earlier this month showed that American officials believe that “negotiations to end the conflict are unlikely during 2023 in all considered scenarios.”

“We must stop this madness before it’s too late!” said the groups in their letter on Thursday. “For the sake of future life on this planet, we urge you to initiate peace talks to end this war now.”

Julia Conley is a staff writer for Common Dreams.

This article is from  Common Dreams.

The views expressed in this article and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

18 comments for “Climate Groups to Biden: Back Ukraine Peace Talks

  1. robert e williamson jr
    May 1, 2023 at 20:26

    Those in the Navy have a rather salty saying about what needs to be done when the forces of surreality become completely paralyzing, numbingly insane.

    They say, “It’s time to run up the bullshit flag.” For those who don’t know sailors at sea use flags to communicate, hence running up this flag or that flag.

    I have called “bull shit” so often it has become stale so I now unofficially call for running up the bullshit flag.

    Pelosi would be better off keeping her “pie hole” shut instead of talking climate change. She had her chance for that but chose instead to stick the party line. Pretty despicable for someone who has grand children.

    Besides her and those democrats she love so much delivered us Biden.

    Nancy you are no longer speaker, act like the good senator you claim to be and do something or shut the hell up!

    My Dog give me strength!

    Thanks CN

  2. LeoSun
    May 1, 2023 at 17:43

    Memo To: The Climate Groups
    Re: POTUS’ Lethal Footprint, Flash Cards, Lies must be Aborted; NOT Supported!!!

    No doubt, the Climate Groups “activism” is, deservedly, applauded; but, if, “they” wanna be heard, “they” must be seen. It’s got to be a “visual campaign” against The Empire!”

    — “Know your stuff.” POTUS reads FLASH Cards NOT Letters. It’s got to be a “VISUAL,” via the Jumbo-Tron Teleprompter &/or FLASH Cards. A Cheat Sheet! W/Pictures, Photos, Specific Directions, “You say, Hello.” “You take your seat.” Say, “God Bless, America.”

    The LETTER’S got to be crafted to “The Big Guy’s” learning curve that’s in extreme decline!!!! a LARGE font & Pictures.

    — “Know WHOM you’re stuffing.” POTUS’ comprehension is @ a Third (3rd) Grade level. POTUS does NOT read or write; and, is baffled by the math. POTUS’ got lotsa stuff that he/she does NOT compute. “NOT a Joke!” Just “watch” him/her.”

    — “Know when you’ve stuffed ‘em ENOUGH!” IMO, POTUS’ legacy is Green Gas Emissions & Green Screens, it’s a $cience fiction NetFlick$, “The never ending D.C. Nightmare,” in its artificial glory, i.e., The WH photo, above, “a Political Corpse & a Comedian, posing as POTUS masquerading as Human.” A cruel joke!!! The Saboteurs, Provocateurs, SAY Their NAMES, The WH & CONGRESS!!! How about progressing to a “Hold ‘Em” accountable for war crimes & crimes against humanity. The current $h*tuation is Code Blue!

    Amend the “Letter” to a FLASH Card and/or a Banner declaring, “WE” 2300 PLUS Con$umers will NOT back Biden’s-Harris’ 2024 Campaign.

    The WH can take their 2020 Do-Over Dream to the archives of The Malarky Factory. “WE,” 2300 PLUS Con$umers are living the lethal effects of a Mail Order POTUS, Biden-Harris. Delivered via the U.S.P.S. Is NOT to be repeated in 2024!!!

    Fingers crossed, 2300 PLUS “Climate Activists” do NOT $upport Comma La Harris for POTUS when Biden’s, obviously, too dementia-addled and truth-challenged to carry on the charade of pretending to be mentally & physically fit. “WATCH” him shuffle. That gait is a dead give away, “the engine’s running; but, NO one’s behind the wheel.”

    Biden-Harris, et al., have had years, multiple f/chances, to be brilliant; &, they got “US” @ Code BLUE!!! Fugg ‘Em!!!

    Give the People what they want, “A Plan to Save the Planet,” developed by Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research & The Network of Research Institutes.” A “progressive” House of Congress would embrace “A Plan To Save The Planet!!!” And f/WAR! BUT, CONGRESS, sucks! Congress is all about war w/Russia & China.

    Imo, Medea Benjamin & CODE PINK need to stop lobbying, ignorant, sycophant $taffers, in the Halls Congress. IMO, Medea Benjamin & CODE PINK needs to course correct. IMO, Medea Benjamin & CODE PINK oughta hold a Presser on the steps of The Capitol Building, w/2300 PLUS People, standing behind them; &, declare, Loud & Clear, “Right, NOW, 2300 PLUS People will NOT back Biden-Harris 2024.”

    Repeat the line, “WE,” 2300 PLUS, will NOT back Biden-Harris 2024!!!”

    Fingers crossed, before 2023 is over, hundreds & hundreds more will say, “NO MORE! ENOUGH!!” Shut The Front Door on Biden-Harris 2024.

    “We the People” are still looking for Leader. A PeaceMaker. Not the current warmongering, dysfunctional, malfunctioning, demented, deranged, perverted duopoly @ the Center of Democrat control. The Party of War.

    “A democracy has got to be more than two wolves & a sheep voting on what’s dinner.” Ciao.

    • Valerie
      May 2, 2023 at 16:00

      You’ve excelled yourself LeoSun with this one. Tears of laughter from me.

      “The LETTER’S got to be crafted to “The Big Guy’s” learning curve that’s in extreme decline!!!! a LARGE font & Pictures.”

      I don’t see how he can see the screen with those sun glasses he favours. He even wore them to the WH Correspondents’ Association dinner thingy the other night. (Indoors!!)

      Of course there are equally worse contenders for next POTUS: d dump, m popeye, de satanist, dare i say tucker carlson and godzilla knows who else.

      Ciao. Do visit again with your “off the wall” humour. I love it.

      • LeoSun
        May 3, 2023 at 16:34

        Awh, indeed, Valerie, “Make It Rain!” Live. Love. L.O.L!!! Merci beaucoup, Mademoiselle!

        “En réponse à,” Valerie, “I don’t see how he can see the screen with those sun glasses he favours.” HE CAN’T! (LeoSun). “No joke!!!” (Joey R. Biden); AND, it’s……$howtime: The WHCD, $tarring, POTUS’ “Avatar,” JOE COOL, “Journalism isn’t a crime;” UNLESS, you’re JULIAN ASSANGE!!!

        Everybody, knows, “Joe Cool” woulda, coulda, shoulda gone there; USED his “PLATFORM,” The WHCD, To “Walk the Talk,” shuffle the deck, whatever it f/takes, step up to the MIC, Say It Loud, Clear; & MEAN IT:

        —- “END the Persecution. STOP the Extradition. FREE, JULIAN ASSANGE, A.S.A.P. On behalf of The Divided $tates of Corporate America’s Presidents 40-46, APOLOGIES!!! LIVE, FREE, Julian Assange!

        But, JOE “Ain’t” COOL. Everybody, knows, everywhere he goes, he defaults to the S.O.P., “POTUS does the yapp’n. The MSMedia Press does the clapp’n!”

        “All around the world. France & Scandinavia. Candlelight vigils protesting the behavior. It’s animal behavior. It’s pigs, sheep & wolves.” (Paul Simon).

        Tucker Carlson for President, “L.O.L.” Fingers crossed, Tucker Carlson’s devotion for the truth, “lives,” obliterating the duopoly’s campaign to “Keep America Dumb.”

        Gandhi once said, that “in a non-violent conflict there is no rancor left behind and, in the end, the enemies are converted into friends.” Hmmmmm…Ciao. “Keep it Lit!”

  3. Andrew Nichola
    May 1, 2023 at 17:02

    The one unequivocal kesson from the Proxy War is this. Nevermind all their lofty words at climate conferences. Our leaders dont give a damn about global warming.

    • LeoSun
      May 3, 2023 at 16:44

      HEAR! HEAR!!!

      Well, said. TY.

  4. Mark Thomason
    May 1, 2023 at 12:56

    Ukraine teeters on the edge of total collapse, and so now “ceasefire” is a common suggestion. Anything to stave off defeat.

    It would have been a good idea before Russia was forced to pay the price to win. Now it paid. Now it will collect.

    Now just say goodbye to Ukraine. And all “loans” made to it.

    This is now the end game of the bungling foolishness of the Biden Administration Ukraine policy. They could have had a far better deal, if they’d just kept the deal they had but cheated on. Like Trump with Iran, it is the fool’s errand that just keeps digging a deeper hole.

  5. vinnieoh
    May 1, 2023 at 12:21

    What nonsense: the war will end when Washington, D.C. says it will, and not a moment sooner or later. Ukraine is just the poor sap proxy taken along for the ride.

  6. Jon
    May 1, 2023 at 11:38

    Perhaps these groups should have attended the Rage Against the War Machine Rally held in DC months ago.

  7. JonnyJames
    May 1, 2023 at 11:24

    CodePink is great, but many of the “climate” NGOs appear to be callous hypocrites. Did they care when the US installed a far-right coup govt. in 2014, complete with Ukrainian Nazis? Did they care about human beings being murdered by the regime in Kiev?
    Do they only care about “carbon footprints”?

    Robert Parry was one of the first to expose the Nazis in Ukraine, and their atrocities: and he was called nasty names by many so-called liberals (like some in the NGO/Nonprofit Complex.)

    Oh well, I guess any anti-war effort is better than none. I wish some of the D party status-quo supporters would tone down on the hypocrisy and connect some dots. Innocent human beings who are under bombardment don’t have the luxury of worrying about carbon footprints.

  8. Bushrod Lake
    May 1, 2023 at 11:15

    It would be hard to find an event more disastrous for us than the war in Ukraine; it interrupts food supplies, blows up gas pipe lines, creates more entropy both now and it the future when rebuilding is begun, and opens the possibility for nuclear war.
    How stupid.

    • Eddy Schmid
      May 2, 2023 at 06:36

      People rabbit on about nuclear war, but when one looks at the damage already caused by this war, )recall the bombs and artillery shells started in 2014 BY UKRAINE ) the land mines and unexploded ordinance lying all over the place in Ukraine will take many years to clean up, IF it ever gets cleaned up. Until then, that land cannot be used for anything, unless people wish to take a risk with their lives by accessing this damaged land IMHO, the damage caused by this CONVENTIONAL war, is far more damaging then a nuclear war. Think about it, what it’s done/doing to the environment and the planet, not to mention the livilihood of the people and the repercussions which will take 5 or more generations to restore, IF things ever are restored. Bottom line is , Who is going to pay for this ????

  9. Vera Gottlieb
    May 1, 2023 at 11:09

    As if the Yanx could care less what, where, when something is destroyed…as long as the US profits from it. But this profit comes at a cost which the Yanx haven’t understood yet. Do they care???

    • JonnyJames
      May 1, 2023 at 14:47

      And don’t forget the partners in crime: the UK. Depleted uranium and other weapons sent to Ukraine. Austerity and kleptocracy for the public, but more for the Oligarchy. Oh I forgot: the Brits are the Yanx, the UK is MineMe of the US. So when you say “Yanx” that means Brits.

  10. Ian Perkins
    May 1, 2023 at 10:03

    The United Nations Environment Program estimates the methane leaked by the Nordstream sabotage “represents less than 0.1 per cent of the total annual human-made methane emissions. It also amounts to the methane emissions the oil and gas industry releases on a single day.”

  11. Valerie
    May 1, 2023 at 08:02

    And just like the government robot she is, nancy continued with her mundane voiced speech.
    It must be nice to be oblivious.

    • Eddie S
      May 1, 2023 at 11:24

      IMO, at that level of politics, it’s virtually ALL electioneering strategy and tactics — if you speak to them about morality/humanity/ecological responsibility/etc you might as well be speaking in a dead 10th century Mandarin dialect. Their only real concern about anything is whether it will affect their next election — they don’t ’hear’ anything else, no matter how ‘sincere’ they sound.

      • Valerie
        May 2, 2023 at 03:12

        I agree with that Eddie.

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