Fossil fuels from Russia and environmental and human rights due diligence: Our questions on matters to be considered at the Fortum AGM 2022

Fortum’s answers to our questions are published here:

1) Fossil and nuclear fuel imports are the biggest source for financing Russia’s war against Ukraine, which includes uncounted war crimes like arbitrary shelling of civilian infrastructure, hospitals and nursery schools, the siege of entire cities and summary executions of civilians. Will Fortum and Uniper use their economic leverage and stop all imports of gas, coal and nuclear fuel from Russia immediately?

2) How much fossil or nuclear fuels did Fortum and Uniper import in 2021 from Russia? Who were the Russian counterparts? Please specify for gas, coal and nuclear fuels.

How much fossil or nuclear fuels did Fortum and Uniper import between January 1st of 2022 and February 23rd of 2022 from Russia? Who were the Russian counterparts? Please specify for gas, coal and nuclear fuels.

How much fossil or nuclear fuels did Fortum and Uniper import from February 24th of 2022 from Russia? Who are your Russian counterparts at this moment? Please specify for gas, coal and nuclear fuels.

3) A coalition of Ukrainian NGOs has sent an open letter ( to Fortum/Uniper and other important energy companies on March 7th. Will Fortum send an official response to the coalition? If so, when will this happen?

4) Fortum and Uniper announced to increasingly diversify their supply sources for gas and to not start any new long-term contracts for gas with Russia. Please specify the nature and scope of the existing long-term contracts with Russian counterparties. What is Fortum’s and Uniper’s current time frame to phase out all Russian fossil fuel and nuclear fuel supplies? Please specify for gas, coal and nuclear fuels.

5) Please specify the origin of Fortum’s and Uniper’s fossil and nuclear fuel supply in 2021. Who were the most important supplier countries for gas, coal and nuclear fuels?

6) In November 2021 more than 50 miners were killed in a mine accident at the Listvyazhnaya mine in the Kemerovo region. Poor safety measures are the probable cause of the accident. Has Fortum or Uniper investigated the circumstances of the accident? Did Fortum or Uniper get coal deliveries from this mine?

7) Will Fortum now finally set up a climate strategy with a concrete phase-out date for gas in line with 1.5 degrees as e.g. a no gas in the power sector in advanced economies by 2035? Will the company now stop their plans to even increase their gas portfolio by 2035 compared to now?

8) Fortum obviously made the wrong strategic decision to heavily rely on a huge gas portfolio, mostly from Russia. Will this now finally lead to a complete turn-around of the company’s strategy? Will new investment be made into wind and solar instead of fossil gas or fossil based blue hydrogen or ammoniac?

9) In your financial report 2021 Fortum states that the company and especially Uniper’s gas business profited from the higher power and gas prices. This significantly contributed to the Group’s comparable operating profit which increased by 89%. Can you please state how much Uniper profits from the even higher gas prices since the beginning of the year and especially since the beginning of the invasion of the Ukraine?

10) Uniper signed a MoU for a long-term agreement with the Russian company Novatec for the supply of fossil gas based ammoniac. Has Fortum already canceled this deal?

11) In the context of the need to end business relationships with Russian companies such as Gazprom which are financing the war in the Ukraine, we’d like to ask questions about the future gas supply of Fortum and Uniper:

11a) In your answer to last year’s AGM questions Fortum admitted that the human rights situation in Azerbaijan is not satisfactory. How do you evaluate that SOCAR as a state company is a main source of income for the Aliyev regime who has direct control of the company and who started a war on Armenia in 2020? Will SOCAR once more meet Fortum’s compliance standards since the company has even taken an active part in that war with spreading war propaganda plus is a financial source for the Aliyev’s regime known for human rights abuses? Will you take consequences for the long-term contract of Uniper with SOCAR for fossil gas supply? Or does Fortum even plan to increase the gas supply from Azerbaijan?

11b) Gas supply from Qatar is also very controversial from a human rights perspective. Does Qatar play an important role in Fortum’s and Uniper’s plans to diversify the fossil gas supply?

11c) Fossil gas has a huge climate effect and growing evidence about methane leaks in the supply chain clearly show that fossil gas must be phased out in the next decades completely.  Fossil gas supply remains a problematic task due to Russia’s war against Ukraine, the human rights problems related to big gas exporters like Azerbaijan or Qatar or the negative impact of fracking in the US or environmental and cultural impacts in Australia.

Is Fortum aware of any alternative supply sources for fossil gas from Russia which are apart from the severe climate impacts not causing any environmental (e.g. through fracking or impacts to marine life etc.) or human rights problems (e.g. state energy companies of governments known for human right violations)? How do Fortum and Uniper evaluate the future of gas in the companies’ overall strategy?

12) The Scarborough LNG gas in Australia project will produce levels of pollution which are equivalent to 15 coal-fired power stations and is planned in one of the most culturally and environmentally important areas of Western Australia. Are you aware of the climate impacts, risks for marine life and threats to 40.000-year-old Aborigine art which are linked to the gas extraction in Scarborough? Are you also aware of the two major court cases and local owner and public protests against the project in Australia? Will you cancel the sale and purchase agreement with the developer of the project, Woodside?

13) Peer companies such as Enel, EDF or Orsted have far more ambitious expansion plans for renewables. Looking at the top tiers, e.g. Engie has a 40-fold higher target for wind and solar for 2030 than Fortum/Uniper. Will Fortum now finally speed up its transition to renewables more rapidly? If so, please specify with regard to management and capex decisions.

14) Following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, Fortum announced it will not make new investments in Russia.

14a) To what extent does this decision affect your current and planned projects and business relationships with Norilsk Nickel (Nornickel)?

14b) To what extent does this decision affect your cooperation with Nornickel and BASF to build a battery recycling cluster in Harjavalta, Finland?

14b) Have you conducted environmental and human rights due diligence in relation to your business relationships with Nornickel? If yes, what are the results? If not, do you plan to conduct such due diligence? Please also state the reasons if you not conduct such due diligence.

Permanent link to this article: