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UNECE, UNEP and OECD launch Platform for Action on the Green Recovery of Ukraine

UNECE, UNEP and OECD launch Platform for Action on the Green Recovery of Ukraine

More than two years since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the country has experienced considerable environmental destruction with both immediate and longer-term consequences on human health, ecosystems, the Ukrainian economy and beyond. Attacks on infrastructure and industry have resulted in pollution to air, water and land; waste infrastructure has been overwhelmed; debris and hazardous waste created in massive amounts; agricultural lands and forests burned, damaged and nature degraded. 

International support has been mobilised to help to meet Ukraine’s immediate needs, including ongoing support to assess the environmental damage. At the same time, efforts are underway to support the post-war economic and social recovery and reconstruction. Now is the time to ensure that the recovery and development of Ukraine follows green economy and low-emission development principles, and that these are not seen as only desirable or optional, but as an economic necessity for a fundamental transformation of Ukraine’s economy and society. 

To support this, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) are establishing a Platform for Action on the Green Recovery of Ukraine. A joint statement was signed today at the Ukraine Recovery Conference in Berlin.  

UNECE Executive Secretary Tatiana Molcean stated “the Platform for Action on the Green Recovery of Ukraine signals our joint commitment to assist Ukraine to not only rebuild but transition toward a green economy that is inclusive, low-carbon and resilient. UNECE tools for environmental governance and infrastructure investment strengthen the foundations for this transition, and we stand ready to support the government to shape the required regulatory, policy and institutional frameworks.” 

“War is, quite literally, toxic, affecting our environments and in turn, the air we breathe, our water systems, and our food systems – this new Platform aims to support the people of Ukraine in their recovery, supporting their path to a greener, more sustainable future,” said Bruno Pozzi, Deputy Director of the Ecosystems Division, UNEP.

The Platform’s establishment responds to the invitation made by Ministers to the three organizations at the 9th Environment for Europe Ministerial Conference held in October 2022 in Cyprus to prioritize assessing the most urgent environmental needs in Ukraine based upon the methodology of the UNECE Environmental Performance Review Programme. This assessment should also consider the results of ongoing and planned impacts assessments, and to make recommendations to advance a sustainable recovery of the country, in line with the Lugano Declaration and its seven principles adopted at the Ukraine Recovery Conference of 4–5 July 2022. 

The Secretariats of UNECE, UNEP and the OECD will work together in a coordination group to provide direction on the overall strategy and long-term goals of their support to Ukraine and thematic priorities, taking into consideration the consultations of a stakeholder forum. The coordination group will also support monitoring the progress of the Platform towards its objectives and evaluating the effectiveness and impact of its activities.  

A Support Unit will be set up by UNEP in Kyiv to facilitate this cooperation and the implementation of activities to achieve the Platform’s objectives, subject to the availability of the necessary resources. 

The Secretariats of UNECE, UNEP and the OECD will review the progress achieved in their cooperation after a period of three years and consider any further measures that may be desirable to enhance that cooperation. 

A green recovery offers an opportunity for Ukraine’s economic diversification by shifting towards sustainable, modern and innovative industries and agriculture, low-emission transport, renewable energy and clean, energy-efficient technologies and buildings.  

By prioritizing renewable energy sources and energy efficiency, Ukraine can decrease its dependence on natural gas, bolster energy security and resilience of energy systems, provide potential for green energy exports and reduce vulnerability to geopolitical pressures. This will also support Ukraine’s alignment with the EU Green Deal, a key pillar of Ukraine’s EU future membership. 

Finally, a green recovery will also align Ukraine with global efforts to combat climate change, as well as fulfilling the country’s commitments under other global environmental agreements. It can enhance its own resilience to climate-related risks through climate-adaptive infrastructure, including nature-based solutions, and other developments.   

Note to editors 

The Platform for Action on the Green Recovery of Ukraine will provide a forum for Ukrainian and international partners to: 

  • Define the meaning of green recovery for Ukraine also considering the status of Ukraine as candidate for EU accession; 

  • Support actions to prioritise and accelerate reform of policies and legislation, practices and institutions and to mobilise whole-of-government commitment and engagement for greening the post-war recovery and reconstruction of Ukraine; 

  • Support the development of amendments to the financial constitution and financial instruments which can facilitate the implementation of the Green Recovery Strategy; 

  • Support co-ordination and mobilisation of additional expertise and funding to promote a science-based, systemic and coordinated green recovery and set Ukraine on a net zero and climate-resilient development trajectory; 

  • Identify challenges and opportunities for strengthening the efficiency and effectiveness of international support in close co-operation with the already existing support formats. 

The Platform will build on and complement existing international efforts and mechanisms that support Ukraine to address environmental challenges during the war and for its post-war recovery.  

Countries: Ukraine

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