BERLIN, 24 October 2022 – The Ukrainian NGOs “Ecoaction”, “Razom we Stand”, “Vision Zero”, and Greenpeace demand to put climate-sustainability as the guiding principle for the reconstruction of post-war Ukraine. That includes a transition to renewable energy, electric public transport and Nearly Zero-Energy Buildings as standard and no further investment in fossil fuels. The organizations request German chancellor Olaf Scholz to support this goal at the International Expert Conference on the Recovery, Reconstruction and Modernisation of Ukraine starting tomorrow in Berlin. Therefore, activists raised a replica wind turbine near the chancellery.
“We cannot rely anymore on the centralized fossil fuel energy systems of the past”, says Svitlana Romanko, director of Razom We Stand, “apart from harming the climate, they have proven to be extremely vulnerable to deliberate attacks. Ukraine’s reconstruction is the unique chance for Europe as a whole, as a continent, to step up energy transition and achieve real energy security based on renewables. Chancellor Scholz and President Zelensky must face the truth: There is no place for new fossil fuel infrastructure in a post-war Ukraine.”
“Renewable energy production was a fast-growing sector before the war in Ukraine”, says Yevheniia Zasiadko, head of the climate department of Ecoaction. “But two-thirds of all renewable energy generation is located in southern Ukraine, in one of the most war-affected regions. The energy system is centralized, so the whole system is an easy target for Russia, and it will affect all the country. The recovery period should be based on development of decentralized renewable energy projects and reduce dependence on large power generating facility, like nuclear energy. Households, organizations and communities should be able to produce and manage their own energy.”
“The draft for Ukraine recovery plans does not at all correspond to the EU Smart and Sustainable Mobility Strategy”, says Viktor Zagreba, head of Vision Zero. “The word ‘automobile’ is mentioned 195 times, and ‘sustainable’ only once! In addition, the needs of Ukraine’s cities are not reflected at all. We strongly believe that the recovery plans need to be completely re-written, and that the new documents should be based on a green vision and on EU’s sustainable mobility goals and best practices.”
“While repairing and building new houses and public buildings, we cannot afford spending recovery money on old technologies”, says Denys Tsutsaiev, Greenpeace campaigner in Kyiv. “The installation of solar panels, heat pumps and proper insulation should be prioritized. In order to have warm, efficient and welcoming homes for all Ukrainians waiting to come back. Nearly Zero-Energy Buildings should be the new standard for all new buildings already from 2023. Ukraine has the historic chance to take the path to climate-friendly, independent energy with the best modern technologies. This is the best and real investment into the Ukrainian future.”