Online Public Debate: “Climate Policy of Ukraine After the War: Revisit Climate Goals to Increase Ambition”, May 19

Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine has affected lives and livelihoods, not only disrupting supply chains, but also threatening energy security and food availability in Ukraine and the world. In the midst of this context, it could be expected that climate ambitions might take the back seat, that efforts to mitigate the impacts of climate change both in the EU and in Ukraine might become more complicated. The war has caused Ukraine to lose critical infrastructure and has negatively impacted ecosystems across the country, while the EU’s efforts to support Ukraine in the resistance of Russian aggression has itself caused an energy crisis in the winter of 2022-2023.

Nonetheless, climate change remains an existential threat, and tackling it remains a key priority. The EU divesting from Russian fossil fuel energy could be a trigger for the acceleration of achieving net zero objectives, while in Ukraine, the eventual post-war reconstruction should be green, and sustainable.

TEPSA co-organised with the Razumkov Centre an online public debate: “Climate policy of Ukraine after the war: revisit climate goals and increase ambition”, which took place via Zoom on May 19, at 11:00-12:30 CET (12:00-13:30 EET). The event sought to discuss the current political and economic context determining climate policy, both at the EU-level, where various differing national perspectives directly inform the common policy and its implementation, as well as in Ukraine. The part the EU will play in climate action both at home and abroad, and an assessment of current measures taken by the EU to support this, form a key part of this analysis. Moreover, recommendations on how to improve climate protection measures were given.

The event included a presentation of the recently published TEPSA Book “Climate Change and the Future of Europe: Views from the Capitals” by Svitlana Chekunova (Leading Expert in Energy and Infrastructure Programmes, Razumkov Centre), and an expert discussion was moderated by Volodymyr Omelchenko (Director of Energy and Infrastructure Programmes,  Razumkov Centre). Participants of the event included leading experts of Ukraine in the fields of climate change, energy decarbonization, and renewable energy sources, representatives of the state authorities, businesses, public institutions, and international organisations.

“Climate Change and the Future of Europe: Views from the Capitals” is edited by Michael Kaeding, Johannes Pollak and Paul Schmidt, and published by Springer. While the ambitious objectives outlined in the EU’s Green Deal aim at making Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050, national implementation greatly varies depending on local geographies, history, culture, economics, and politics. This book analyses Member States’ and EU neighbours’ national efforts to combat climate change. It subsequently draws on these factors to highlight local challenges, tensions, and opportunities on the road towards climate neutrality. In the context of inter-country dependencies following Russia’s war against Ukraine, it addresses strategic questions regarding EU integration, the transformation of our economies, the reduction of energy dependencies, and public perception of the above. The book also makes concrete recommendations, in various policy areas, on how individual countries and the EU as a whole should deal with the climate crisis.