UNECE, UNEP, OECD Launch Green Recovery Platform for Ukraine's Rebuilding Efforts

UNECE, UNEP, OECD Launch Green Recovery Platform for Ukraine’s Rebuilding Efforts

Green Recovery Platform Launched

In a significant stride towards aiding Ukraine’s post-war recovery, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) have launched the Platform for Action on the Green Recovery of Ukraine. This global initiative, announced at the Ukraine Recovery Conference in Berlin, is not just about Ukraine but about the world uniting to steer Ukraine towards a sustainable, low-emission future amidst the ongoing challenges of environmental destruction caused by the war.

Environmental Destruction from War

After enduring over two years of Russia’s full-scale invasion, Ukraine is grappling with severe environmental damage that is taking a toll on human health, ecosystems, and the economy. The conflict has left a trail of air, water, and land pollution, overwhelmed waste infrastructure, and a staggering amount of debris and hazardous waste. The destruction of agricultural lands and forests, which are vital for biodiversity and climate regulation, has further worsened the environmental degradation. This ecological devastation poses immediate threats to the health and well-being of Ukraine’s citizens and the country’s long-term sustainability.

“The war has left a toxic legacy, affecting our environment, air, water, and food systems,” remarked Bruno Pozzi, Deputy Director of the Ecosystems Division at UNEP. “This new platform aims to support the people of Ukraine in their recovery, helping pave the way for a greener, more sustainable future.”

A Collaborative Commitment

The Platform for Action on the Green Recovery of Ukraine is a direct response to the invitation from ministers at the 9th Environment for Europe Ministerial Conference in October 2022. The joint statement signed in Berlin underscores a unified commitment to rebuild Ukraine, with a strong focus on green economy principles. UNECE Executive Secretary Tatiana Molcean emphasized, “Our joint commitment is a powerful signal of support for Ukraine to rebuild and transition towards a green economy that is inclusive, low-carbon, and resilient. This is a collaborative effort, and we invite all stakeholders to join us in this important mission.”

The platform will be instrumental in assessing Ukraine’s most urgent environmental needs using UNECE’s Environmental Performance Review Programme methodology. This assessment will guide sustainable recovery efforts, including reforestation, waste management, and pollution control initiatives. These efforts align with the Lugano Declaration and its seven principles adopted at the Ukraine Recovery Conference in July 2022.

Establishing the Platform’s Framework

The platform’s framework includes creating a Support Unit in Kyiv, facilitated by UNEP, to coordinate and implement activities. This unit will support Ukraine’s government in shaping the regulatory, policy, and institutional frameworks for a green recovery. The Secretariats of UNECE, UNEP, and OECD will work together to provide strategic direction, monitor progress, and evaluate the impact of the platform’s initiatives.

A coordination group will oversee the overall strategy and long-term goals. At the same time, a stakeholder forum, open to representatives from civil society, academia, business, and local communities, will ensure comprehensive consultation and engagement. This forum will provide a platform for diverse perspectives and ideas, contributing to the platform’s effectiveness and legitimacy. After three years, the Secretariats will review the progress and consider additional measures to enhance cooperation and effectiveness.

Economic Diversification and Energy Security

A green recovery allows Ukraine to diversify its economy by transitioning to sustainable, modern industries such as renewable energy production, eco-tourism, and organic agriculture. By prioritizing renewable energy and energy efficiency, Ukraine can reduce its dependence on natural gas, strengthen energy security, and align with the EU Green Deal. This alignment is crucial for Ukraine’s future EU membership and integration into the European market.

By shifting towards sustainable industries and renewable energy, Ukraine can strengthen its economy and reduce its vulnerability to geopolitical pressures. The country can enhance its energy security and economic stability by reducing its reliance on fossil fuels and diversifying its energy sources. This strategic shift is not just about environmental sustainability; it’s about Ukraine’s resilience and independence in the face of global challenges. It’s about securing a stable, prosperous future for Ukraine’s citizens.

Global Climate Commitments

Ukraine’s green recovery is a national priority and aligns with global efforts to combat climate change. By enhancing its resilience to climate-related risks, developing climate-adaptive infrastructure and nature-based solutions, and fulfilling its commitments under international environmental agreements, Ukraine is contributing to global climate stability. This approach is not just about Ukraine’s recovery but also about its responsibility as a global citizen.

“Ukraine’s commitment to a green recovery demonstrates its dedication to global climate goals and its determination to build a sustainable, resilient future,” said Tatiana Molcean.

The Platform for Action on the Green Recovery of Ukraine is a transformative initiative, turning the country’s post-war recovery into a beacon of sustainability and resilience. By leveraging international support and expertise, Ukraine can rebuild its economy on green principles, ensuring a healthier environment and a more stable, prosperous future for its citizens. This is a cause for hope and optimism, a testament to the power of collective action.

As the platform progresses, it will provide a forum for Ukrainian and international partners, including you, to define green recovery, reform policies, mobilize resources, and promote systemic and coordinated efforts towards a sustainable future. Your active involvement in this initiative is a testament to the international community’s solidarity with Ukraine and its commitment to fostering a green, resilient recovery.

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Image Courtesy | UNECE.ORG

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