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Elena Rybak told how to turn climate and environmental challenges into opportunities

15 December 2020

Speeches at events are a good opportunity to summarize and systematize experience. For the webinar “Turning climate and environmental challenges into opportunities” of the EU Delegation in Ukraine Elena Rybak selected key actions for further development of Ukraine in this sector based on her experience from implementing energy efficiency projects:

1. Cities drive change in energy efficiency projects. Locally initiated projects are often implemented faster unlike those on the national level, when funds have to undergo time consuming and complex procedures prior to being allocated.  Effective mayors deliver excellent results and their cities become an example for others.

2. Environment vs. profit. Financial benefit should not be the only key factor for projects implementation. Environmental considerations have to play an important role. For example, import and use of asbestos containing materials, can still happen on construction in Ukraine. Its abatement has to be done according to very specific requirements. While it requires additional effort and financing, the health and social benefits are beyond measurement to reduce risk of cancer for users of the facilities or construction workers.

3. Energy efficiency projects must not be free, but affordable. This is best supported by combined loan and grant financing, taking into account long payback periods of such projects: 25 years and more.

4. Quality counts. It is difficult to find reliable and responsible contractors – energy efficiency can not be achieved unless properly implemented. Contractors have to be informed and encouraged to develop services in energy efficiency sector.

5. Gender mainstreaming is cross sectoral. Different gender groups perceive safety issues in a different way, therefore prioritization of i.e., street lighting modernization programmes can include assessment of location of public transport stops, location of socially important objects, car and crime accidents at specific locations. Gender considerations during this process help to bring maximum immediate benefits to local communities.  

Watch full version of the webinar here.

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