Today, on September 13, during the official start of the International environmental forum Lviv Eco Forum, the head of Ukraine’s city with population of over one million people has publically declared an ambitious goal to “make a transition to 100 % renewable energy sources (RES) in the city’s energy balance by 2050“. City mayor, Andriy Sadovy has signed a memorandum with the international climate organization 350.org.
This implies guaranteeing energy independence, reducing the amount of energy consumption, phasing out fossil fuels and gradual transition to RES. Thus, Lviv has joined the top five leading cities in Eastern Europe that have made a commitment to support only clean energy – Zhytomyr, Kutaisi (Georgia), Kamianets-Podilskyi and Chortkiv.
In fact, Ukraine has started a historic process of energy transition from fossil fuels to clean energy. As burning oil, gas and coal is the main cause of climate change (approximately 84% of all CO2 emissions), the move towards RES and divestments from the sector of fossil fuels are the only decision that can prevent future climate extremities.
The announcements of Zhytomyr, Chortkiv, Kamianets-Podilskyi and Lviv today of a move towards 100% RES by 2050 are the first stage of this transition.
“Such political decisions will provide grounds for future steps – development of energy plans, climate strategies and attracting even more investments into clean energy, sustainable mobility, climate change adaptation and energy efficiency. The first signatories are the leading cities that are receiving investments now and implementing multiple energy efficiency, sustainable mobility projects, constructing solar power plants and biomass CHPs. But we all understand that we still have a lot of work ahead – development of 100% RES transition plans, climate strategies, community platforms in each city. We are building up a new image of Ukraine globally as an energy independent country,” says Yulia Melnyk, renewable energy sources campaigner of 350.org in Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia.
“The goal we have set for ourselves is very ambitious – to make a transition to all renewable energy sources by 2050. This means supporting electric transport, investments into treatment facilities, newest technologies that will enable us to use solar and wind power instead of oil and gas. This is an ambitious goal that only the most successful cities set for themselves. Lviv’s role is to be the driving force that is pushing the process forward so that others could join! Local reforms in cities can now be done more quickly than in the whole country. I am urging all cities to sign this agreement! said Mr. Sadovy.
It is symbolic that these days, on September 12-14 the Global Climate Summit is taking place in San Francisco. This summit has united about 1000 city mayors, businesses, local administrations and communities to draw up a new vision of climatic and environmental leadership. The city mayor of Zhytomyr, Serhiy Sukhomlyn is also taking part in this summit, and he will tell his international colleagues about Ukraine’s green agenda and cities’ public commitments.
We should remember that Ukraine is one of the leaders in Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia in transition to renewable energy sources. Specifically, Zhytomyr, Kamianets-Podilskyi and Chortkiv are the first cities in this region that have recently started a public process of energy transition in their cities with active involvement of the public.
Last year Costa Rica made a transition to 100% RES in the country’s energy supply, California in the US is planning to move to 100% RES by 2045, Australia is also making energy transition. Moreover, the 2020 Olympic Games, in Tokyo will be powered entirely by renewable energy.
For updates and more information contact:
Iryna Sopilniak, 350.org communications manager (digital campaigner) in EECCA (Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia)
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