A leading academic has condemned “blood oil”

A leading professor has said the West needs to rethink the way it buys its oil. Leif Wenar, Chair of Philosophy and Law at King’s College London, has blamed a law […]

By Jonny Bairstow

A leading professor has said the West needs to rethink the way it buys its oil.

Leif Wenar, Chair of Philosophy and Law at King’s College London, has blamed a law allowing countries like the UK and America to legally buy oil from dictatorships, militias and regimes for the majority of global crises and wars we face.

He says the law of “might for right” states whoever can assert dominance and take control of resources has the right to own and sell them. This rule previously underpinned the trade of slaves and blood diamonds.

It still underpins the oil industry, according to Professor Wenar.

He says: “Where did those men of violence get the money for their missiles and their armies and their propaganda and their bombs? Well, ultimately that money comes from us when we fill up our cars or buy oil products, which almost all products are.”

The professor says the reason “blood oil” is harder to step away from is because we rely upon it so heavily.

He suggests the solution is to stop buying oil from countries like Saudi Arabia or Iraq and instead focus on renewables and “fairtrade” oil from democratic sources.

Professor Wenar said: “By our own deepest principles, over half of the world’s traded oil is stolen. The West can lead a peaceful global revolution by finally ending its dependence on authoritarian oil, conflict minerals and other stolen resources.

“Upgrading world trade will make us more secure at home, more trusted abroad, and better able to solve urgent problems like climate change.”