New research shows that nearly 70% of Europeans want an immediate boycott of Russian oil and gas, adding to pressure on European politicians - led by Germany - who are refusing to stop sending billions to the Kremlin in return for fossil fuels exports, despite the atrocities committed by Russian forces in Ukraine.
The polling of 12,000 people was commissioned by RePlanet, a new, pan-European environmental NGO, and carried out in six European countries by the polling agency Savanta ComRes. The response shows that feelings are running high: on a scale of 1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree), 55% of people chose 6 or 7 in response to the statement "This country should immediately stop buying Russian oil and gas".
Only 15% of Europeans disagree with the statement and want to continue purchasing energy from the Kremlin, and a tiny 6% strongly disagree.
"Politicians in Germany and elsewhere no longer have any excuses for delay"
This poll shows that a big majority of people across Europe support the agenda underlying RePlanet's recently released "Switch Off Putin" report, which sets out how Europe can achieve immediate energy independence from Moscow by taking strong measures such as banning all internal European flights and limiting car use.
Report co-author, Mark Lynas says: "As Russian atrocities continue on a daily basis in Ukraine, it is sickening that Europe is still sending billions to the Kremlin's war machine. Our poll shows that the vast majority of European citizens agree, and want to see an immediate boycott of Russian oil and gas. Politicians in Germany and elsewhere no longer have any excuses for delay. They must act now and stop funding Putin's genocide in Ukraine."
In terms of an immediate boycott on Russian oil and gas:
Overall, 70% agree vs 15% disagree with an immediate boycott of Russian oil and gas.
Poland had the highest agreement (79% agree vs 10% disagree), followed by the UK (77% vs 10%) and Sweden (76% vs 10%).
Support for a boycott is particularly strong in older people (75% in 55-65 age group, and 79% in 65+).
The poll also shows a range of attitudes on other radical measures. Here are a few:
Overall in Europe, nearly two thirds of respondents (65%) agreed on going "all-out" to build new nuclear.
Overall 42% agree with the need to reduce demand by temporarily rationing the use of energy. Support for energy rationing is weakest in the UK (33%).
A majority of Europeans (53%) are prepared to eat less meat to reduce the burden on Ukrainian wheat exports.
A majority of Europeans are prepared to eat less meat to reduce the burden on Ukrainian wheat exports
Director of the RePlanet Research Institute, Dr Inari Kulmunki, says: "The war in Ukraine has exposed Europe's energy dependence on Russia. Europe's dependence on oil and gas is so great that a rapid exit has proved very difficult. That must not be a reason not to take the necessary political decisions. Energy dependency must be broken. We need responsible decisions based on EU-wide cooperation and the pursuit of energy solidarity."