On the 17th of January the citizens of Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, woke up to find the city covered with smog. This is not the first time over the last half year when the situation occurs. Exactly the same thing happened earlier in July and October 2016.


Local government representatives insist that the smog has been caused by the weather conditions, which resulted in the emissions being accumulated in the lower atmosphere. At the same time, the experts from the National Ecological Centre made an official statement, explaining that the causes of smog in Kyiv are the air pollutants emitted by the city transportation and energy sector, as well as the particular weather situation, combined. To be more specific, the concentration of CO2 in the city centre on the 17th of January was about 6 mg/m3 (with the average maximum allowable 3 to 5 mg/m3).

It’s worth mentioning, that over the past few years Kyiv turned into the city with some of the worst air quality in Europe. In the future, the greatest threat to the people in Kyiv is the potential failure of the local government to implement the policies of sustainable urban development, where one of the main priorities should be to reduce air pollution. At the moment, there isn’t even a system to constantly monitor the air quality neither in the capital nor across the rest of the country.  

The environmental well-being of the Kyiv city in the upcoming 2017-2019 years is now actively discussed by the local authorities. The project (the environmental strategy) is being developed with the participation of the regional coordinator from 350.org. Our regional team hopes our participation will help to convince the government to include relevant sections about adaptation to climate change, prepared with the participation of NGO representatives in Kyiv into the document. At the moment there is an issue with the national budget, which is needed to develop the missing parts of the strategy. The City Council is claiming there are no funds for mitigation and adaptation to climate change, forgetting how urgent the issue is and how devastating the long-term consequences for the local citizens can be.

Unlike the authorities in Paris, who almost immediately cancelled the public transportation fee and restricted the usage of private vehicles in a similar situation back in December 2016, the executives in Kyiv are slow to provide a proper (or any) solution.

As the organisation, we are interested what the city administration office members had in mind this morning when they woke up to see the capital covered with smog. We are also curious whether it was comfortable enough for our mayor to ride a bicycle to work or around the city in such conditions? Now, leaving the irony behind, we believe it is time to accept the climate crisis in the country, as well as its causes and the potential consequences. “Climate” is no longer a geographical definition, it has long ago became a painful problem that requires an immediate action, until the devastating consequences turn from the forecasted situation into the real issue.

More photoes from different areas of the city on January, 17th:


smog-Poznyaky smog_centre


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