Solutions for Ukraine's "green" reconstruction: international conference in Lithuania takeaways
From November 29 to December 1, an international conference on Ukraine's "green" reconstruction, organized by the European Commission, is taking place in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. The event combines political and business segments to discuss the ongoing damage to Ukraine's environmental infrastructure caused by Russia's armed aggression, as well as strategies and specific solutions for a green recovery. Ahead is harmonizing Ukrainian legislation with European legislation, €50 billion from partners and Phoenix.
What is the problem?
The European Commission reminds that the total amount of damage to the environment and eco-infrastructure in Ukraine due to the war is more than €52 billion. In particular, Ukraine faced the environmental consequences of the destruction of the Kakhovka HPP, the worst man-made disaster since the accident at the Chornobyl nuclear power plant.
In the forest sector, €1.4 billion of damage has been caused, and 20% of protected areas are threatened. Also, 497 water management facilities were damaged or destroyed during the war.
In addition, Ukraine is the most mined country in the world.
However, European partners offer their help in several areas to not only rebuild Ukraine but also make the cities and infrastructure environmentally-friendly, convenient, and adapted to a comfortable life.
What is the solution?
Opening the conference, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda emphasized that Ukraine has made incredible progress in implementing reforms despite the brutal war.
"When the war ends, Ukraine will have a chance to become the center of the green economy. Our country is ready to share its experience," he said.
European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans, and Fisheries Virginius Sinkavičius noted that the goal is clear: "a bright future for Ukraine built on a solid foundation as part of the European family."
The first priority, he said, is to end the war. Still, once the war is over, we need to rebuild with environmental sustainability at the core because that is the only way to ensure prosperity in the long term.
"We are considering the resources that will be needed and the actions on the ground that will constitute a green reconstruction," the European Commissioner explained.
Assistance to Ukraine is provided comprehensively, starting with practical assistance on the way to joining the EU and financial support and ending with technical support through the programs of the European Commission.
The commission helps Ukraine align its environmental legislation with the EU acquis and create administrative structures to ensure the enforcement and implementation of environmental legislation.
It also involves building coalitions — working closely with international partners (such as UNEP, UNIDO, and World Bank) and support groups such as the High-Level Working Group on the Environmental Consequences of War.
The European Commission proposed to spend €50 billion in support of Ukraine within the framework of the EU Ukraine Facility during 2024-2027. This mechanism also includes Ukraine's reconstruction plan, ensuring that environmental sustainability is considered in future investments.
The European Phoenix initiative is a series of programs of the European Commission aimed at supporting Ukrainian politicians and civil society for a "green" recovery. Within this initiative's framework, €7 million was allocated for the "green" development of Ukrainian cities under mixed financing from the LIFE and Horizon Europe Cities programs.
Author: Olena Bakonina
As Rubryka reported, on November 28, a four-day high-level international conference dedicated to the ecological restoration of Ukraine begins in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania.