Ruslan Strilets spoke about Ukraine's climate policy at the COP28 event
Why Ukraine's climate policy cannot "wait" until the end of the war, how we are shaping it now, and planning for the reconstruction period. Minister Ruslan Strilets discussed this at the COP28 (2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference) event in the Ukrainian pavilion, presenting the vision of the national climate track.
"In 555 days of war in our country, CO2 emissions reached 150 million tons. Of these, 60 million tons are provoked by fires and military activities. Climate problems do not wait. They are already leading to the 'extinction' of territories. The world's economic losses could reach $120-600 trillion by 2100. In just the South of Ukraine, we could lose 1 million hectares of dry land. This is almost the size of Montenegro," said the Minister.
According to him, for Ukraine, effective climate policy is also a matter of moving towards the EU and green recovery. Therefore, priority steps have already been identified to bring the country closer to these goals.
Among the practical processes initiated, Ruslan Strilets highlighted:
Updating and improving the national monitoring system for reporting and verifying greenhouse gas emissions.
The planned launch of a pilot emissions trading system in 2025, with full implementation in 2026. This will allow the country to join the European Emissions Trading System (EU ETS). The goal is to ensure that any deferrals under the EU ETS or any special conditions do not become the sole reason why Ukraine is not accepted into the EU.
The opening, in partnership with German counterparts, of a Climate Office in Ukraine. This serves as a platform for cooperation within the framework of the Paris Agreement and as a tool for attracting investments for green recovery.
Ukraine's readiness to participate in the carbon market today. There are agreements with Switzerland, and the country is on the path to collaboration with Japan for the purchase of surplus emission quotas.
"Do we see Ukraine as climate-neutral in the future? Yes. Is it necessary to implement national policy in the conditions of war? Yes! As President Volodymyr Zelensky said, the reconstruction of Ukraine is not only about what we need to do after our victory but also about what needs to be done right now. So, we continue to work in this direction," emphasized Ruslan Strilets.