Yulia Svyrydenko: Our goal is to hold the aggressor accountable for environmental crimes in Ukraine
Since the start of the full-scale invasion, over 2900 environmental crimes committed by Russia have been documented. Ukraine, along with foreign partners, is working to assess the environmental damage caused by Russian aggression and hold the aggressor accountable. First Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine and Minister of Economy Yulia Svyrydenko shared this information during a video address to Members of the European Parliament within the framework of the High-Level Working Group on the environmental consequences of the war for Ukraine.
"Every day, Russia commits crimes against our environment and humanity. They ruthlessly kill Ukrainians, destroy our cities and villages, devastate forests, unique natural reserves, pollute rivers and lakes. They mine roads, power lines, water supply, and even children's toys. Since the start of the full-scale invasion, over 2900 environmental crimes have been documented on the part of Russia. Estimated damage amounts to 56.7 billion euros. Unfortunately, these figures will only increase. Each new day of war inflicts approximately 89 million euros in environmental damage," emphasized Yulia Svyrydenko.
She mentioned that these environmental damage estimates do not include the losses from the act of terrorism by Russia on the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Station. Due to the dam breach, a million Ukrainians lost access to drinking water, 100 thousand people in 80 settlements suffered from floods, and 140 thousand people were left without electricity. According to UN, the Ministry of Economy, and the Kyiv School of Economics, the losses from the Russian sabotage of the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Station amount to nearly 14 billion dollars.
"The fight against the consequences of Russian crimes and the protection of the environment are among the top priorities of President Volodymyr Zelensky's Peace Formula. We regularly hold meetings with international partners, members of the working group on the eighth point of the peace formula chaired by Andriy Yermak. I am grateful to everyone participating in this process and helping us overcome this complex problem. Our goal is to assess the environmental damage caused by Russian aggression, seek compensation, and hold the aggressor accountable for environmental crimes," emphasized Yulia Svyrydenko.
The recovery of Ukraine will be based on the principles of a green economic transition. The long-term vision includes the decentralization of the energy sector, which will be impossible to destroy through shelling. It is anticipated that Ukraine will gradually move away from fossil fuels, and industries will adopt technologies to reduce carbon emissions, as combating 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 and low greenhouse gas emission technologies. This includes the production of environmentally friendly steel, hydrogen, and biomethane. In urban planning, we will need to implement more energy-efficient solutions, as the less we import energy carriers, the stronger Ukrainian energy security will be. The development of cities will be based on better planning, the implementation of more integrated and comfortable public transportation, and the use of renewable energy in centralized heating systems. In the future, cities will play a greater role in the production of renewable electricity," continued Yulia Svyrydenko.
For this purpose, the government is actively working on the development of the National Energy Climate Plan with comprehensive modeling of its impact on the entire economy.
During her speech, Yulia Svyrydenko also raised the issue of humanitarian demining of Ukrainian lands, the development of domestic production of demining machinery, and the application of state-of-the-art technologies in this field.
"Your support is extremely important for us in all these areas at every stage. In particular, we will be incredibly grateful for support in the development and implementation of Eurointegration tasks, funding programs for municipalities to improve energy efficiency, and the adoption of renewable energy sources. And most importantly, we need to continue actively uniting to hold Russia accountable for its crimes and collectively stop the aggressor. Without taking these crucial steps, implementing Ukraine's 'green' recovery will be challenging," concluded Yulia Svyrydenko.