June 9 2021
Dear President Biden, Dear President Putin
We are writing to you today, on behalf of millions of Greenpeace supporters, regarding a matter of vital importance – the climate emergency. Millions of families in Russia and the US are already experiencing the intense impacts of climate change. Devastating fires, melting permafrost and extreme storms are destroying homes, livelihoods and the countries you treasure. These impacts are not only creating havoc on Russian and American lives now, but are an illustration of what will intensify and expand if the world does not quickly change course. Futures are at stake.
Scientists have been clear that while we have little time, the transformation to a better tomorrow is within reach, but only with unprecedented leadership and cooperation. Russia and the US are bound in many ways, from the Arctic and its Indigenous communities, to fossil fuel resources and the courage of your citizens.
Greenpeace is therefore calling on each of you, as world leaders, to provide Americans, Russians and the world with the authentic climate leadership we urgently need. The solutions to the climate crisis already exist. What’s required now is clarity, direction and implementation. You can provide this for a green and just transition at home, and bring the international community together for the unprecedented cooperation needed to have a safe, healthy planet for all.
Both Greenpeace Russia and Greenpeace USA, together with ally organisations, have proposed a series of steps for each country’s green and just transformation, where climate change is tackled while new jobs are created.
For Russia, this is a long-term development programme designed to help tackle the climate crisis, and put accidents like those in Norilsk and Komi firmly in the past.
A just and green transformation for Russia offers significant positive impacts by diversifying the economy, eliminating dependence on fossil fuels, while creating modern industries and new jobs. It also means the technological transition of Russia’s fossil fuel sector as well as afforestation on abandoned agricultural lands.
For the US, the Green New Deal is a framework for mobilising the federal government to create millions of family-sustaining, union jobs, invest in historically marginalised communities and fight the climate and biodiversity crisis at the same time. It’s built on the vision that the country’s struggles – from climate change to systemic racism to unemployment – are all connected. By harnessing the full power of the federal government to build an inclusive, renewable energy economy, there is the real chance of navigating out of multiple crises at once.
Passing a bold, Green New Deal-style economic recovery plan in the US right now would create 15 million new jobs and sustain them over the next critical decade.
A green and just transition for Russia and the US, respectively, is good for people, good for nature, good for the climate and what’s needed for a safe, prosperous future.
There are also many opportunities for exchange in learnings between the US and Russia as you go forward and implement green and just transformations in your national contexts and work to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. This is a moment to demonstrate your commitment to the Paris Agreement by putting forward stronger national determined contributions, that are aligned with science and in time for COP26, when people all around the world will be relying on you.
President Putin, President Biden – this is a historic moment, one that young people today and the children of the future will look back at and wonder what was driving the decisions of leaders like you at this moment when so much is at stake. This is your moment and your time to chart a way forward that would calm their fears, provide hope for their future and secure your respective political legacy.
cc: Anatoly Chubais – Special Representative of the President of Russian Federation for
Relations with International Organizations to Achieve Sustainable Development Goals
cc: Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State
cc: John Kerry, US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate