How can countries build resilient, carbon-neutral economies? Funders around the world are investing in sustainable energy, working to combat the impact of climate change, and helping environmental nonprofits build green economies. Join us to explore how environmental funders can help Ukraine rebuild and support a green energy transformation.
Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, there have been over 2,300 cases of environmental damage, which equates to over $51 billion in damage, according to the Ukrainian government (Source).
Speakers from our conversation included:
Yevheniya Kravchuk, a Member of Parliament, who shared an assessment of the environmental and infrastructure damage and the opportunities for reconstruction,
Roman Zinchenko, co-Founder of Greencubator, who shared insights into Ukraine’s sustainable energy community, and
Dario Liguti, Director, Sustainable Energy Division, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, discussed a new UNECE report on Rebuilding Ukraine with a Resilient, Carbon-Neutral Energy System and outlined opportunities for how philanthropy and NGOs can support the transformation of Ukraine’s economy based on green energy and sustainability.
Summary and Highlights:
The Ukraine Green Economy Future Roundtable emphasized the environmental and energy challenges caused by Russia's actions, the need for comprehensive assessments and rebuilding plans, the role of international organizations like UNECE, the importance of funders and NGOs in promoting a sustainable future, and the ongoing efforts of Ukrainian NGOs and initiatives like Greencubator in driving green transformation.
Key points from our speakers included:
Guidance to Funders:
Sustainable and Long-Term Strategies: Funders and NGOs should focus on sustainable long-term strategies, behavioral change, skill development, partnerships, and awareness campaigns to promote green policies and education, such as green library initiatives.
Winter Challenges: Surviving the upcoming winter poses challenges due to likely attacks on Ukraine's energy grid. Funders can provide generators and cell phone power banks to assist citizens during the winter.
Updates on the green economy in Ukraine:
Environmental Devastation by Russia: Russia's attacks not only result in loss of life and infrastructure but also create severe environmental challenges. These include the destruction of ecosystems, loss of plant and animal species, $55 billion in estimated environmental damage, massive landmine deployment, significant forest loss, greenhouse gas emissions, and deliberate destruction of infrastructure like the Kakhovka dam.
Environmental Assessment and Initiatives: Future assessments of environmental damage must consider impacts on health, biodiversity, and resources. Ukraine is forming an international group to examine war-related environmental consequences. The government's green energy transition law and a recovery plan supported by 50 billion euros from the EU are central to rebuilding.
UNECE's Role: The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) assesses Ukraine's raw materials for a low-carbon energy system. Their report outlines a plan to reduce fossil fuel dependency by 2050 through renewables, low-emission tech, energy efficiency, and electrification, requiring significant investments in wind, solar, bioenergy, and batteries.
Rebuilding Urban Infrastructure: UNECE, with local stakeholders and experts, develops blueprints for urban reconstruction in cities like Kharkiv and Mykolayiv. Financing reconstruction will involve over $350 billion and public-private partnerships.
Greencubator's Efforts: Greencubator, an Ukrainian NGO, supports green entrepreneurship, advocates for climate innovation, shapes energy regulations, and launched Ukraine's first municipal energy cooperative.
Other Environmental NGOs: Numerous Ukrainian NGOs contribute to green energy and environmental efforts, including EcoAction, Green Wave, Zero Waste, Flora, Save Dnipro, Ekoltava, and more, supported by initiatives like the International Renaissance Foundation's environmental program.