This is a time when climate movements around the world are campaigning to draw the attention of the participants in these meetings to the urgent need for a just economic recovery without harm to the environment, climate and people.
A new study prepared by the International Institute for Sustainable Development and their 14 partners demonstrates that during the pandemic, the G20 countries have already allocated more than $150 billion to support the industries that are responsible for environmental pollution, including extraction and burning of fossil fuels, which is the main cause of the disastrous climate change.
Civil society organizations around the world demand that 750 billion euro from the European Recovery Fund (EU Recovery Fund) and multi-billion bailout programmes from the world’s biggest national budgets be used in a just and efficient way. This can be achieved by including withdrawal from fossil fuels, and financial support of small business, working class, and vulnerable categories of people in the bailout package.
Ukraine is not a member of G20, yet politically and economically it is tightly connected with the key members of this “club of prosperous countries” – trade markets, loans, grants, technical and material assistance.
Will Ukraine take the “green” global tendencies into consideration in its legislation?
Currently, Ukraine’s government has a crisis recovery programme, which does not even mention the issue of environmental protection. There is a separate Action Plan of the Ukrainian Government, which supports coal and oil industries, and new jobs are offered in spheres that are definitely not “green”. The distribution of budget money during the crisis shows that the government’s priorities are neither just nor “green”.
Ukraine is at a huge economic and political risk, because Ukraine has a low national GDP, which does not provide welfare and decent salary to Ukrainian citizens, there are recurring crises in government, environmental policy, corruption and destruction of the environment for profit. Moreover, financially speaking Ukraine is dependent to a great extent on the international financial aid and investment from the EU. “Green” transformations in our country may never happen, if there is no money for them.
That is why we demand that G20 countries make priority investments in a prompt, just, sustainable transition to a climate neutral economy. Then, we will not be a cheap resource region for Europe, but a competitive country, whose citizens do not do low-quality jobs abroad, because they develop “green” energy, sustainable mobility, organic agriculture at home, use nature-based solutions in their daily life and in urban development and do not destroy their own environment.
To do this we need systematic change, which involves everyone. That’s why we’re calling on the president and government of Ukraine to implement a Green Deal for the country, to change our future.