On March 12, the COVID-19 quarantine was declared in Ukraine. At that time, the government did not yet understand how it would proceed, what policies it would enact, and how long it would last. There was only one goal- to slow down the spread of COVID-19. At this stage, the number of affected people changes every day; as of May 19, the total number of infected people was – 18,876; 5,632 have recovered, 548 have died. Unfortunately, the number of affected medical workers is rising, although initially, the municipalities assured people that they would provide safe medical conditions for medical workers.
Since the quarantine, public transport has been partially stopped. Subways have stopped in large cities, but the government is scheduled to open them starting May 25. Shopping centers, cafes, parks, and playgrounds were closed. Grocery stores were open with limited quantities of food depending on the size of the premises.
Social surveys have claimed that the majority of the population has saved funds for no more than a month. Unfortunately, the economic situation does not allow the government to provide financial support to those who are affected. A few weeks ago, the government adopted measures to help stabilize the economy. This included an investment of nearly 876 million UAH some of which was supposed to be used to support various environmental measures such as air quality improvement (although recently air quality has worsened). Unfortunately, economic stimulus funds also included funds for restructuring the coal industry.
The Cabinet of Ministers has prepared an exit plan from quarantine starting May 16th, which consists of five stages. In the first stage, the state gave permission to small and medium-sized businesses to partially open.
In the last month, Ukraine has several times recorded poor air quality, seen an increase in fires, and experienced water shortages. This only confirms the urgency of the need for the government to take further climate mitigation steps. It should adopt Roadmap Climate Goals 2030 created by Civil Society, designed to raise climate policy ambition. The Roadmap includes quantitative climate mitigation targets for five economic sectors.
Activity Rating: * negative long-lived impact
Dear Prime Minister Shmyhal Denys,
Recent actions by the authorities, such as investing in the restructuring of the coal industry, have raised concerns among the public. The authorities’ unwillingness to act on climate issues in the long term may have a negative impact on both the country’s economy and the environment. Based on the experience of European countries, it is important to adopt measures to prevent climate change in the country’s development strategy after quarantine, which will have a positive long-term impact on the country.
We urge you to base long-term policy on the Roadmap Climate Goals 2030 from Civil Society. Achieving these goals will contribute to the country’s future economic development as well as win the fight against climate change.
Shmyhal Denys, Prime Minister of Ukraine
This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Ukraine Country Manager Yevheniia Zasiadko