LCU at Café Kyiv

Amidst the ongoing Russian invasion, Ukraine finds itself at a critical juncture, grappling with immediate wartime imperatives while striving to advance its long-term climate policy objectives. The panel discussion “Fighting Two Evils at Once – Long-Term Climate Policy in Times of War,” at Café Kyiv, shed light on the intricate interplay between these pressing demands and the country’s green future aspirations. A special highlight of the panel was the keynote address by Yaroslav Demchenkov, Deputy Minister of Energy of Ukraine.

Insights from Government and Civil Society:

Yulia Rybak, articulated the government’s commitment to prioritizing climate action despite the challenges posed by the conflict. She emphasized the importance of strategic adaptation, advocating for initiatives aimed at advancing climate goals even under adverse wartime conditions.

Anna Ackermann, Ecoaction, highlighted the impact of the invasion on their work with municipalities and coal communities. She stressed the necessity of ensuring just transitions, both during and after the war, and underscored the crucial role of municipalities in formulating and implementing climate action plans.

Ongoing Projects and International Cooperation

Julia Jesson from GIZ discussed ongoing projects focused on enhancing energy efficiency and promoting renewable energy sources. Despite wartime conditions, these initiatives align with long-term climate targets such as the Energy Strategy 2050 and the European Green Deal, emphasizing the coordination efforts of the Ukrainian Climate Office.

Heike Freimuth from the European Investment Bank (EIB) explored Ukraine’s EU accession candidate status and its implications for energy and climate policies. She outlined the steps necessary for Ukraine to align with EU standards, emphasizing the pivotal role of international financial institutions (IFIs) in supporting green reconstruction efforts.

Key Takeaways:

The panel discussion provided valuable insights into the multifaceted challenges and opportunities facing Ukraine at the intersection of wartime imperatives and long-term climate aspirations. It underscored the importance of strategic adaptation, local capacity building, and international cooperation in advancing Ukraine’s climate agenda amidst ongoing turmoil.

As Ukraine navigates these complex dynamics, collaboration between government entities, civil society organizations, and international partners will be essential in charting a path towards a more resilient and sustainable future, even in the face of adversity.