Joint Letter to President Biden for Ukraine

Over 200 groups call on Biden to use the Defense Production Act to help Ukraine by
accelerating the clean energy transition

The Honorable Joseph R. Biden
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Biden,
We stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian people and we want to thank you for halting oil imports from Russia. We urge you to continue to resist short-sighted policies such as scaling up domestic fossil fuel production or expanding oil and gas infrastructure or financing, which would only deepen our dependence on fuels that lead to global instability and drive further devastating climate impacts.

Instead, we are calling on you to invoke the Defense Production Act (DPA) to ramp up the deployment of renewable energy 1  to transition the world off fossil fuels.

Already the impacts of the humanitarian tragedy in Ukraine are being felt not just in Europe where electricity, heating, and food costs are set to soar, but here in the U.S. and around the world as the price of oil and gas skyrockets.

Putin’s ability to wreak such destruction on Ukraine is predicated on global dependence on fossil fuels. Oil and gas constitute forty percent of Russia’s national revenue, meaning Russian exports of oil and gas are literally funding this invasion. What’s more, global reliance on Russian oil and gas slowed our collective will to respond over fear of higher energy costs the world over.

At the same time, days after the invasion of Ukraine, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its most dire report in 30 years, calling for an end to the fossil fuel era, and documenting what United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres called the “atlas of human suffering” due to climate change.

You can deploy your executive powers to weaken the geopolitical power of fossil fuels, address the climate emergency, and prevent further mass suffering.

We urge you to utilize the Defense Production Act to ramp up the deployment of renewable energy to transition the world off fossil fuels and generate millions of good quality, union jobs. The DPA – which you have already used to fight the COVID- 19 pandemic and respond to wildfires – provides you with the historic opportunity to produce alternatives to fossil fuels, fight the climate emergency, combat Putin’s stranglehold on the world’s energy economy, and support the transition to a renewable and just economy. While we call for the use of the DPA, we implore that you use this mechanism for peaceful means, not increased militarization of the conflict.

We urge you to invoke your DPA powers 2  to:

  • Rapidly scale up production, manufacturing, and deployment of renewable energy technologies, heat pumps, storage, and weatherization technologies here and abroad. These green technologies can be exported to Ukraine, the rest of Europe, and the Global South to help wean them off of their dependence on Russian fossil fuels. And they should be simultaneously deployed across the United States to jumpstart the renewable energy revolution and prioritize construction in climate-vulnerable communities. With one fell swoop, you would reduce energy costs and move the world away from fossil fuel markets that are all too easily manipulated by bad actors.
  • Create millions of long-term, high-paying domestic jobs and position the U.S. to be a global leader in showcasing the economic benefits of the just and renewable energy transition. Investments by the Federal government can create high-quality, family-supporting jobs; and build worker power by including high-road labor standards.
  • Accelerate the transition to zero-emission public transportation, alternatives to car based transportation and related infrastructure domestically, and deploy it nationwide, prioritizing communities who are most vulnerable to the climate emergency.  These steps will reduce the burden of higher gas prices at the pump for U.S. residents.

Critically, all of the above must center and prioritize low-wealth communities and communities of color that have disproportionately suffered the negative externalities associated with our fossil fuel economy.

A renewable energy future is a peaceful and ultimately more prosperous one. Using the DPA and your other executive powers in this manner won’t just help Ukraine, the rest of Europe, and the U.S. in the short term. It will preempt future crises sparked by oligarchs, strongmen, and the climate emergency, and position the U.S. to be a global leader in the just and renewable energy transition that will leave no worker behind.

Center for Biological Diversity
Climate + Community Project

Common Defense
Global Witness
Indigenous Environmental Network
Oil Change International
Sunrise Movement
Women’s Earth & Climate Action Network (WECAN)
198 Methods
350 Eugene
350 Hawaii
350 Humboldt
350 Lake Norman
350 Montgomery County
350 New Hampshire Action
350 NJ-Rockland
350 Seattle
350 Triangle
350 Ventura County Climate Hub
Accelerate Neighborhood Climate Action
Alaska Community Action on Toxics
Am Kolel
American Friends Service Committee
Animals Are Sentient Beings Inc

Atmos Financial PBC
Aytzim: Ecological Judaism
Bronx Climate Justice North
Brooklyn Story Lab
Businesses for a Livable Climate
Cahaba Riverkeeper
Call to Action Colorado
CAN South Asia
Capitol Heights Presbyterian
CatholicNetwork US
Cedar Lane Environmental Justice Ministry
Center for Democratic and Environmental Rights
Center for International Environmental Law
Center for the Blue Economy
Citizens for a Healthy Community
Clean Energy Action
Climate Action for Lifelong Learners
Climate Action Rhode Island – 350
Climate Hawks Vote
Climate Psychiatry Alliance
Climate Strike Davis
CO Businesses for a Livable Climate
CO Dem. Party – Energy & Environment Inititiatve
Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life

Colorado Businesses for a Livable Climate
Colorado Democratic Party – Energy and Environmental Initiative
Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism
Common Defense
Community for Sustainable Energy
Conejo Climate Coalition
Connecticut Citizen Action Group (CCAG)
Dayenu: A Jewish Call to Climate Action
Del-Md Synod ELCA Creation Care Ministry Team
Divest RVA
Dogwood Alliance
Earth Action, Inc.
Earth Day Initiative
Earth Guardians Bay Area Crew
EarthRights International
Eco Action Families
Education, Economics, Education, Climate and Health Organization (EEECHO)
EKOenergy ecolabel
Elders Climate Action
Elected Officials to Protect America
Electrify Now

Empower our Future
Empower our Future -Colorado
Environment & Enterprise Strategies
Environmental Investigation Agency
Environmental Justice Ministry Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church
Estes Valley Clean Energy Coalition
Ethical Markets Media Certified B. corporation
Extinction Rebellion San Francisco Bay Area
Extinction Rebellion Youth US
Fairbanks Climate Action Coalition
First Unitarian Church of Albuquerque
Florida For Good
Fossil Free California
Frack Free Sussex
FreshWater Accountability Project
Fridays for Future U.S.
Friends of the Narrows Of Hans Creek
Future Coalition
Green 13
Green Buildings Now
Green House Collaboration Center
Green Workers Alliance
Greenbelt Climate Action Network
Greenpeace USA

Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart
Harrington Investments, Inc.
Hip Hop Caucus
Honor the Earth
Howling For Wolves
Humboldt Unitarian Universalist Fellowship's Climate Action Campaign
I-70 Citizens Advisory Group
Idle No More SF Bay
In the Shadow of the Wolf
Indivisible Ambassadors
Islamic Society of North America (ISNA)
Jewish Climate Action Network, MA
Kentucky Interfaith Power and Light
Legacy Vacation Resorts
Littleton Business Alliance
Locust Point Community Garden
Louisiana Bucket Brigade
Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
Mayfair Park Neighborhood Association Board
Mental Health & Inclusion Ministries
Methane Action
Miami Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

Mid-Ohio Valley Climate Action
Mighty Earth
Montbello Neighborhood Improvement Association
Mothers Out Front Colorado
Mountain Media Productions
Music Declares Emergency
New Energy Economy
New Mexico Climate Justice
New Mexico Environmental Law Center
NJ State Industrial Union Council
North American Climate, Conservation and Environment (NACCE)
North Bronx Racial Justice
North Range Concerned Citizens
Occupy Bergen County
Oceanic Preservation Society
Oil and Gas Action Network
Organized Uplifting Resources & Strategies
Our Climate
Our Revolution
PA- Jewish Earth Alliance
Palms To Pines Democratic Network
Pasifika Uprising
Pax Christi USA
Peace, Justice, Sustainability NOW!

Peoples Alliance for Earth Action Now
Peoples Climate Movement – NY
Physicians for Social Responsibility Arizona
Physicians for Social Responsibility Pennsylvania
Physicians for Social Responsibility/Sacramento
Plastic Pollution Coalition
Preserve Giles County
Private Equity Stakeholder Project
Rainforest Action Network
RapidShift Network
Retake our Democracy
Revolving Door Project
Salt Palm Development
San Francisco Bay Physicians for Social Responsibility
San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council
Santa Fe Forest Coalition
Saphron Initiative
Save EPA
Sierra Club
Small Business Alliance
Social Eco Education
Solar Wind Works
Southern Oregon Climate Action Now
Southwest Organization for Sustainability

Spirit of the Sun
St. Stephen's United Methodist Church of Marble Hill
Sunflower Alliance
System Change Not Climate Change
Terra Advocati
Texas Campaign for the Environment
The Climate Mobilization
The Green House Connection Center
The Neshama Project
The Shalom Center
The United Methodist Church – General Board of Church and Society
The Vessel Project of Louisiana
Third Act
Turtle Haven Sanctuary
U.S. High Speed Rail Association
Unite North Metro Denver
United Church of Christ Environmental Justice Ministry
United For Clean Energy
US High Speed Rail Association
Virginia Interfaith Power & Light
Waldviertler EnergieStammtisch
Wall of Women
Wall of Women Colorado
Wasatch Clean Air Coalition

Waterway Advocates
West Michigan Environmental Action Council
Western Environmental Law Center
Western Slope Businesses for a Livable Climate
Wholly Present
Wild Heritage
WildEarth Guardians
Wilwerding Consulting
Win Without War
Womxn from the Mountain
Worcester County NAACP chapter #7029
Working for Racial Equity
Zero Hour

[1] Renewable technologies include clean and renewable technologies including solar, wind, geothermal, and storage. It does not include false solutions of biomass, nuclear, and gas with or without carbon capture and sequestration, which are significant sources of pollution and carry a host of health and safety risks.