As western governments untangle themselves from Russian oil and gas, Svitlana Krakovska argues that the roots of the climate crisis and invasion are in fossil fuels.

By Oliver Milman, Grist

For Svitlana Krakovska, Ukraine’s leading climate scientist, it was meant to be the week where eight years of work culminated in a landmark U.N. report exposing the havoc the climate crisis is causing the world.

But then the bombs started to crunch into Kyiv. Krakovska, the head of a delegation of 11 Ukrainian scientists, struggled to help finalize the vast Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, report ahead of its release on February 28 even as Russian forces launched their invasion. “I told colleagues that as long as we have the internet and no bombs over our heads we will continue,” she said.

Volunteers clean the ocean coast from oil after a tanker wreck.

But her team, scattered across the country, started to peel away — one had to rush to an air raid shelter in Kharkiv, others decided to flee completely, internet connections spluttered, one close friend of a delegate was killed in the fighting. International colleagues had to express their sympathies and press on with the report.

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