All over Europe, people are rising up to fix climate breakdown – demanding urgent transformation to a fair, fossil free future. Communities, cities and people are at the forefront of building community-owned renewable energy, creating green jobs, and tackling energy poverty. Here is one such story from the frontlines of climate hope, from Ukraine. Susann Scherbarth reports for Friends of the Earth Europe
For the Ukrainian energy sector, the beginning of the year was marked by the “Ukrainian Green Deal” proposal developed by the Ministry of energy and environmental protection. According to the Ministry’s vision for 2050 presented draft Green Energy Transition concept, Ukraine is set to step on the energy transition pathway and actively develop energy efficiency measures, phase out fossil fuels and switch to renewable energy sources (RES). But when it comes to near-term plans, further investments of public funds in nuclear and gas projects are still being considered by the government. Kostiantyn Krynytskyi, NGO “Ecoaction”, head of energy department and Oleh Savytksyi, Ukrainian Climate Network, climate and energy policy expert report on a country at crossroads.
Ukraine and energy issues are often too narrowly associated with geopolitics and gas infrastructure in debates in the United States and Western Europe. Often very little is known about climate policies and the ongoing energy transition within the country. Iryna Holovko, Center for Environmental Initiatives “Ecoaction”, board member talks with Robert Sperfeld, Senior Programme Officer East and South East Europe Division at the Heinrich Böll Foundation, about the issue of climate protection within the Ukrainian society. For further information, have a look at the Heinrich Böll Foundation’s recently published Fact Sheet on decarbonisation as a matter for EU-Ukraine partnership.
The success of the energy transition in the Western Balkans and Ukraine is a question of political will in those countries. But the EU can help set up the conditions for a successful modernization, writes Robert Sperfeld.
While the European Union has been busy with the new Clean Energy Package, some important developments are also taking place in South-East Europe, where the Energy Community Treaty operates. Journalist and energy expert Oleg Savitsky attended explains how policymakers are trying to transform the energy markets of the EU’s neighbourhood.
The transition of the energy sector towards clean and safe renewable energy sources will allow Ukraine to build a new strong economy and break out of socio-economic decline, argue Oleh Savytskyi and Oksana Aliieva. It’s time for Ukraine to embrace renewables to combat global climate change, and to enhance security and welfare of its people.
Polish mining is in crisis, but its companies are acting like nothing’s wrong. They are even paying out miners their traditional Barbórka (St Barbara’s day) bonuses. Michał Olszewski finds that despite generous EU funding, Poland does not invest in the future of its energy system.
As the Nord Stream II project progresses, many EU countries – and Brussels itself – continue to express concern. So why is the German government so nonchalant about the country’s dependence on natural gas from Russia? Craig Morris has a few suggestions.
Ukraine has been a part of the EU Energy Community since 2011, but recently the President vetoed two draft laws to protect the environment and citizen health. Does the country risk losing the trust of its European partners? Anastasiya Yermakova takes a look.
A Ukrainian Energiewende could go a long way to resolving the current geopolitical crisis around the country, writes Oleg Savitsky of the National Ecological Centre of Ukraine in a new report for the Succow Stiftung. According to Savitsky, it would reduce Ukraine’s dependence on Russian gas and uranium as well as on coal from the breakaway regions, while at the same time reducing pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and the risk of a nuclear disaster. It would also help to combat corruption and usher in economic growth and a more equitable society. Savitsky calls on the EU and Germany to set up a “Marshall Plan” to bring about a Ukrainian energy transition, rather than trying to maintain Ukraine as a failed gas transit state.