Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, more than 2,900 environmental crimes committed by russia have been documented. Ukraine, together with its foreign partners, is trying to assess the environmental damage caused by russian aggression and bring the aggressor to justice. This was stated by Yuliia Svyrydenko, First Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine – Minister of Economy of Ukraine, in a video address to MEPs within the framework of the High-Level Working Group on the Environmental Consequences of War for Ukraine.
“Every day russia commits crimes against our environment and against humanity. They brutally kill Ukrainians, destroy our cities and villages, devastate forests, unique nature reserves, pollute rivers and lakes. They mine roads, power lines, water supplies and even children’s toys. Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, more than 2,900 environmental crimes have been documented by russia. Estimated losses amount to EUR 56.7 billion. And, unfortunately, these figures will only grow. Each new day of the war causes approximately EUR 89 million of damage to the environment,” Yuliia Svyrydenko said.
According to First Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of Economy of Ukraine, these estimates of environmental damage do not include the damage caused by the russian terrorist attack on the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant. As a result of the dam breach, one million Ukrainians lost access to drinking water, 100,000 people in 80 settlements were affected by floods, and 140,000 people were left without electricity. According to estimates by the UN, the Ministry of Economy and the Kyiv School of Economics, the damage caused by russia’s blowing up of the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant is almost USD 14 billion.
“Combating the consequences of russian crimes and protecting the environment are among the top ten priorities of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s Peace Formula. We hold regular meetings with international partners and members of the working group on the eighth point of the Peace Formula chaired by Andriy Yermak. I am grateful to everyone who is involved in this process and helps us overcome this challenging problem. Together with our partners, our goal is to assess the environmental damage caused by the russian aggression, receive compensation and bring the aggressor to justice for environmental crimes,” Yuliia Svyrydenko said.
Ukraine’s recovery will be based on the principles of a green economic transition. The long-term vision includes the decentralisation of the energy sector, which will not be destroyed by shelling. It is provided for that Ukraine will gradually abandon fossil fuels and introduce technologies in industry that will reduce carbon emissions, as fighting global climate change is our common task.
“In the industrial sector, we plan to rebuild our economy based on the best available technologies - energy-efficient, low greenhouse gas emissions. These will include the production of clean steel, hydrogen and biomethane. In the urban development sector, we will need to apply more energy-efficient solutions, because the less we import energy, the stronger Ukraine’s energy security will be. Urban development will be driven by better planning, more integrated and comfortable public transport, and the use of renewable energy in district heating. In the future, cities will play a greater role in the production of renewable electricity,” Yuliia Svyrydenko continued.
To this end, the Government is now actively working on the development of the National Energy Climate Plan with comprehensive modelling of its impact on the entire economy.
In her speech, Yuliia Svyrydenko also raised the issue of humanitarian demining of Ukrainian lands, the development of our own production of demining machines and the use of the most advanced technologies in this area.
“Your support is critical for us in all these areas at every stage. In particular, we will be incredibly grateful for your involvement in the development and implementation of European integration tasks, financing programmes for municipalities to improve energy efficiency and introduce renewable energy sources. And most importantly, we need to continue to actively unite around holding russia accountable for its crimes and collectively stop the aggressor. Without taking these crucial steps, it will be difficult to implement the green recovery of Ukraine,” Yuliia Svyrydenko summed up.