Over the last two days 350.org was proud to contribute to the first Forum for Mayors “Cities Climate Ambitions” in Eastern Europe.
At the forum, two more Ukrainian communities declared their plans to transition to 100% renewable energy – Trostyanets city (30 km from Russian border) and Baranivska united territorial community, which consists of 1 city and neighboring 24 villages.
The Small Cities Association of Ukraine, which includes 160 cities, has also signed up to transition for the 100% RE initiative today. The Association Executive Director Katryna Protsenko said that they would support the transition of the member cities of the Association to 100% renewable energy and promote this goal with other cities.
Previously, in 2018, mayors of 4 cities of Ukraine – Zhytomyr, Lviv, Chortkiv and Kamianets-Podilsky and 1 city in Georgia – Kutaisi declared their plans for 100% RE energy transition.
Zhytomyr’s detailed city transition plan to 100 % RE scenario was also presented at the Forum.
The modeling research for Zhytomyr was supported by 350.org with expert input and financial resources in 2019. It took almost one year to complete the research and scientists from the Institute of Forecasting of National Academy of Science of Ukraine collaborated with Zhytomyr City Council. This is the first scenario of such kind for a city in the broader Eastern European Caucasus and Central Asian (EECCA) region.
We hope that this document and presentation will encourage other cities to develop more energy transition scenarios independently.
“Ukrainian cities are showing climate leadership and there will be more and more of them each year. It is very important for cities to jointly pursue the process of public advocacy for legislative changes at the regional and at a state level. This kind of a Green New Deal, which will become an element of similar scenarios that will facilitate the transition to renewable energy and net zero emissions economy. It’s also crucial to redirect financial resources which now support fossil fuels industry into green energy, adaptation to climate change, social, climate and energy justice, which will accelerate energy transition in communities. “ – Svitlana Romanko, Managing Director of 350.org in Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia said at the forum.
Head of Baranivka United Territorial Community Anatoly Dushko said that a 10 MW solar power plant is being constructed in the Baranivka United Territorial Community. It is not working yet, but the community is already seeing the benefits: an investor will pay UAH 1.6 million annually for the rental of a land plot. And 10-12 people will work at the station, taxes from their salaries (about UAH 200,000) will also be paid to the local budget. The work of the solar power plant will strengthen the energy security of the community and contribute to its image as a destination for investment and modern industry. This is one of our first steps towards 100% renewable energy in the area.
“The transition to renewable energy makes our cities and communities more socially just. The renewal of energy, transport and other urban infrastructure, which occurs during the energy transition, opens the way to ensure equal rights and opportunities for all, including socially vulnerable sections of the population” – Oksana Aliyeva, Coordinator of the Climate Change and Energy Policy Program, Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung Ukraine.
We are hopeful that we will be able to host a second forum soon. The Ukrainian Climate Network and The Energy Transition Coalition in Ukraine will facilitate and support the process of the public advocacy for 100% of RE transition till 2050. The Energy Transition Coalition is an association of non-governmental organizations to promote Ukraine’s transition to energy savings and the use of renewable energy. It includes: 350.org EECCA, Ecoclub, Ecodia, Khmelnytskyi Energy Cluster, Ecoltava, All-Ukrainian Agency for Investment and Sustainable Development.
“Our goal is live-able Ukrainian cities, as well as equal opportunities for all residents of the community to invest in energy efficiency and green projects. Therefore, we help municipalities to develop and implement action-plans for sustainable energy development and climate, leading to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and 100% energy from renewable energy sources. The Energy Transition Coalition offers support to interested cities in developing stratagies for a transition to safe renewable energy. ” – Dmitry Sakalyuk, coordinator of The Energy Transition Coalition.