Position of the Ukrainian Climate Network regarding the priorities of climate policy in Ukraine and the world on the occasion of the СОР27

From November 6 to 18, 2022, the 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will be held in Egypt. It is not only a key international platform for combating the climate crisis, but also an important lever of influence on the national policy of countries. All 196 member states of the Paris Agreement, including Ukraine, participate in the COP to synchronize their climate policies and find solutions to limit the increase in average temperature at the level of 1.5C from the pre-industrial period.

Appeal to the signatory countries of the Paris Agreement

Russia’s attack on Ukraine has put the world in front of serious threats on a global scale, related to the possibility of a world war, the onset of a nuclear disaster, and the growing negative consequences of global climate change. The energy crisis in the world affects the international climate negotiations, and it is already clear today that without ending the war, it is impossible to effectively implement the policy of prevention and adaptation to climate change. The war started by Russia affected other regions of the world: Africa, South America, Asia. In order to replace Russian fossil fuels, gas and coal mining has begun in other parts of the world. States are reopening coal-fired power plants and mines to replace Russian gas. The actions of the aggressor directly affected the food supply of the countries of the world.

This war is financed by fossil fuels. 60% of Russia’s state budget comes from selling oil and gas. Along with the war, the consequences of climate change in the form of various cataclysms are growing. The ongoing negative economic effects of Covid-19 have created huge obstacles to decarbonisation and international climate cooperation. Taking into account all the negative effects of Russia’s war in Ukraine on the environment, including climate change, we call on the global level that:

  • The emissions that Russia has caused since February 24, 2022 through direct military actions must be assigned to the balance sheet of the aggressor country.
  • The inclusion of emissions from the temporarily occupied territories of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea of ​​Ukraine and the territory of Donbass, not related to military operations, to the emission inventory of the Russian Federation is unacceptable.
  • Countries should accelerate the energy transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. Thus, to achieve the approved goals of the Paris Agreement and prevent future wars and conflicts.
  • It is important to support developing countries in dealing with losses and damages caused by climate change. It is also important to support international climate cooperation.

Appeal to the Government of Ukraine and representatives of the official delegation

The government of Ukraine approved the goal of carbon neutrality in 2060, supported the EU Green Deal and ratified the Paris Agreement. In 2021, Ukraine updated the Nationally Determined Contribution and set a goal of real reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Ukraine adopted the Strategy for Environmental Security and Adaptation to Climate Change. The war certainly pushed climate action back down the list of state priorities, but the Ukrainian Climate Network emphasizes that Ukraine must remain true to its climate commitments. It is important to continue the implementation of commitments already made:

  • abandon the use of coal in the production of electricity by 2035, in accordance with the commitments in the Powering Past Coal Alliance;
  • develop and implement a strategy to reduce methane emissions in Ukraine by 30% by 2030.

During the post-war recovery period, it is important to maintain the following priorities:

  • Abandon new projects in the field of nuclear energy. Taking into account Russia’s occupation of the Zaporizhzhia NPP, and at the beginning of the year also the Chornobyl zone, being under the constant risk of missiles hitting the facilities of other nuclear plants in the country, and the inability of the international community to guarantee the safety of the relevant facilities and the impotence in the face of the terrorist actions of the Russian state, we we believe that Ukraine should abandon the construction of new nuclear power plants.
  • Update the energy strategy taking into account the new reality – the prospect of Ukraine’s membership in the EU, the large-scale destruction of existing capacities and infrastructure, and the increased demands of society for its own energy security. By 2050, the energy industry of Ukraine must meet the EU’s goal of climate neutrality, which involves the predominant role of renewable energy, decentralization of energy systems, fully open energy markets and their integration into international ones.
  • Recovery must take into account climate change, so adaptation to climate change must be part of the developed Recovery Plans during the rebuilding.
  • Due to Russian aggression, about 20% of nature conservation areas of Ukraine, and about a third of the land in general, were affected. Restoration of damaged ecosystems and agricultural lands will require significant funds and expertise. During the restoration, it is important to set the goal of increasing the territories of nature protection status to at least 30% of the land of Ukraine.
  • Cities and communities will play a key role in implementing the approved recovery plans. It is important that local authorities are involved in the process of developing national plans, and that coordination of work takes place at all levels.
  • Work on the planning and implementation of the approved recovery plans should take place with the involvement of the expert environment and the public.

We welcome the openness of the Ministry of Environment Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine and its willingness to join the civil society in preparation for COP27. As this year’s experience has shown, it is in the coordinated cooperation of various stakeholders that the stability of the country is created.

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