A “green” chance for Ukraine
Overall, the draft Concept of Ukraine’s "green" energy transition until 2050, proposed by the Ministry of Energy and Environmental Protection, looks quite ambitious, balanced, and conformant with today’s European and global energy and economic transformation trends. This initiative is also very timely, almost coinciding with the presentation of a new European vision of long-term economic and energy development based on the climatic neutrality principles. In this respect, it will be an important task for the Ukrainian government to take advantage of an opportunity to “tap in” the EU’s funds, programs and projects which will be created pursuant to the European Green Deal. It may give our country access to financial resources on advantageous terms and to advanced knowledge and technologies.
In addition, the government positions this Concept as a strategic “umbrella” document of the highest level, with a mutually conformant hierarchy of lower-level documents – strategies, programs and action plans, in particular, an updated Low-Carbon Development Strategy until 2050, National Energy and Climate Change Plan until 2030, national action plans on energy efficiency and renewable energy until 2030, and other – built under it. The adoption of the Concept must give impetus to the revision of provisions and harmonization of target indicators for all existing and new strategic and operating documents related to energy development and to national climate and environmental policies.
To be sure, development of the “green” economy and energy would require substantial investments on part of businesses and the broad public. Therefore, considering experience of the extremely inefficient fulfillment of strategies and plans, creating favorable environment and efficient mechanisms of implementing the new policy, which must ensure economic interest and the readiness of the majority of society for this transformation, will be a difficult challenge for the government.
It is important to make sure that “green” transition will benefit our country in not only economic but also social aspects. For that purpose, we need to restore the European model of establishing close cooperation between businesses, science and education, stimulate internal development of technologies, innovative production clusters and energy mechanical engineering in order not to replace Ukraine’s energy dependence with technological one. In particular, it would help engage talented youth in this process and adapt national science and education to the task of handling ambitious objectives of “green” transition.
And of course, our international partners must be convinced that the government’s intentions are serious and consistent, because without foreign support and investments it will be extremely difficult to implement the new policy, considering the principles of sustainable development declared by the government.