Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Olga Stefanishyna and Deputy Director General NEAR and Head of the Support Group for Ukraine (SGUA) Katarína Mathernová co-chaired the second focused dialogue on the European Green Deal and Ukraine’s Green Transition yesterday, 22 September 2021, in Kyiv. A wide range of experts on both sides took actively part in the constructive dialogue.
The Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal and the European Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans had launched this focused dialogue in February 2021. During the first meeting in May in Brussels, concrete steps for enhanced cooperation on areas of joint interest were discussed, including on: climate governance architecture and the update of the Nationally Determined Contribution, green transition financing, the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism, Energy Efficiency Fund, hydrogen technologies, the “just transition” of coal regions, European Industry Alliances and Ukraine’s forestry strategy.
The second dialogue discussed issues related to green transition, environmental governance and financing and had a strong focus on environmental issues in view of the "triple planetary crises" of climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss. The EU welcomes the submission of an updated NDC with increased ambition and encouraged Ukraine to continue developing concrete milestones to achieve Ukraine’s climate neutrality by 2050 and to align its sectoral strategies with that objective. The EU reiterated the need for Ukraine to pursue reforms, and strengthen administrative capacities to implement the commitments of enhanced NDC and possibly achieve additional emission reductions. Both sides agreed on the need for enhanced donor coordination on green transition. EU’s commitment to supporting Ukraine in its green transition was reiterated, including via financial cooperation, through a wide range of instruments available, from technical assistance to blending and guarantee mechanisms in cooperation with International Financing Institutions.
The EU underlined the need for rapid adoption, implementation and enforcement of Ukraine’s key environmental legislation (Waste management, Industrial Emissions, Environmental Control, Emerald network) and of the National Forest management Strategy. This will also open the way to further cooperation and opportunities between Ukraine and the EU on environmental issues, including on biodiversity and forestry management reforms. Waste management and circular economy are of particular interest as these areas are key to achieve economic development and sustainability, and are profitable for economies and societies.
Both sides reaffirmed their commitments to the goals of the Paris agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030 and agreed on the importance of making the UN Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC) - COP 26 a success. The parties also recognised the importance on reaching ambitious goals during the upcoming COP 15 of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Olga Stefanishyna emphasised that Ukraine and the EU may reach success on the way of making Europe the first climate-neutral continent only in close cooperation, accepting all the challenges as a common responsibility. Ukraine is a reliable EU partner on the green agenda and the implementation of the European Green Deal. Ukraine has already approved an ambitious Nationally Determined Contribution under the Paris Agreement to reduce emission by 65% from 1990 level by 2030. To accomplish this goal the Government has been working to match the directions for Ukraine’s green transition with related sectoral strategies and policies. Sufficient funding is also highly important to reach the goals of green transition that demands about 10 billion USA dollars annually for Ukraine. Ukraine has already started the work to mobilise resources to implement green goals and it is essential to have solid support of the international partners, especially European ones, on this way of decarbonisation.
Katarína Mathernová signalled EU’s readiness to support further Ukrainian efforts, including through financial assistance, for setting up a robust Ukrainian climate governance based on long-term climate neutrality objectives which would guide policies and the “whole-of-the-economy” green transition. This could include green financing initiatives, to be set up in line with international standards. This would send clear signals to the private sector in Ukraine and to international investors as regards planed actions and policies for decarbonisation by 2030.
Both sides agreed to create a financing platform under the European Green Deal and Ukraine’s Green Transition dialogue that will allow both policy and financing coordination for its financing via the mobilisation of national resources, coordination and mobilisation of international resources available to Ukraine for its green transition.
Photo: Government of Ukraine