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Coordinator of the Committee for Industrial Ecology and Sustainable Development of the European Business Association (EBA)

Olga Boiko

Green transition in Ukraine is now put on hold

By the end of 2022, the government wants to implement the EU environmental and climate standards into national legislation, but the feasibility of these reforms remains unclear. For example, shortly after the break of hostilities, the government adopted a series of deregulation initiatives, such as temporary suspension of all kinds of report submission, permission to import trucks, buses and special machinery with lower environmental requirements etc. It means that at least this year, there will be no verified data for greenhouse gases emission and green transportation reform is delayed, which is also caused by Russian blockade of Ukraine’s ports.

Involvement during Russia’s war against Ukraine

Olga actively participates in the recovery plan of Ukraine, launched by the National Council for the reconstruction of Ukraine. She contributes to development of ‘Environmental safety’, pursuing solutions aimed at solving urgent and long-standing environmental problems.

How will the war impact Ukraine’s green transition and the alignment of its environmental policy with the European Green Deal? 

Ukraine has always been supportive of the EU green transition ambitions to become the first carbon-neutral continent, according to the European Green Deal.

In 2021, several significant steps to the decarbonisation of the economy were made. For instance, Ukraine has adopted the Second Nationally Determined Contribution under the Paris Agreement to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 65% by 2030 from the 1990 levels. This target is more ambitious than the previous one and even more than the commitments undertaken by the EU and other developed countries.

Russian invasion has set back the efforts in our fight against climate change for decades. Green transition is now put on hold as state defence, energy security, supply chain restoration and support of people in need are among Ukraine’s priorities for the coming years.

What are the major steps that should be taken by the Ukrainian society (government, NGOs, people, businesses) after the end of the war to return Ukraine on the path to climate neutrality?

Ukraine won’t be able to reach its climate neutrality without external financial support. The international community must join forces to not only defeat the aggressor state, but to meet the climate neutrality target of the continent by implementing the following 7 principles:

Ukraine must be excluded from the EU carbon border adjustment regulation;
Reconstruction must be energy-efficient and consider principles of the circular economy;
The regulation of the electricity market must be changed;
Accessible financing is vital for climate-neutral recovery;
International private investment must be protected from political risks;
Enhancing resilience to climate change by ecological restoration is needed;
Post-war recovery does not tolerate overregulation;