Cities, businesses and governments in Ukraine discuss transition to renewable energy

Kiev, 13 November 2018

EECCA Press Release

Relying on renewables as the only source of energy to drive countries’ development pathways not only makes sound environmental sense, but is also good for the economy. In addition it is crucial if we are to meet the Sustainable Development Goals. So we urgently need to do more and move faster on 100%RE. 

This was the message by Dr. Stephan Singer, Senior Advisor Global Energy Policies for Climate Action Network (CAN), at a Meeting of Energy Ministers and the Ninth International Forum on Energy for Sustainable Development held in Kiev, Ukraine, from 12 - 15 November 2018.

At the meeting, which included representatives from the Ukrainian Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry, international energy agencies and regional UN commissions discussed the state of the energy sector and how it could become more sustainable. Around the world 55 countries, 140 corporations and hundreds of cities already committed to 100%RE and the reason for doing so is clear:

“Renewable energy creates jobs that do not harm the environment,” said Dr. Singer. “At the moment in the renewable energy sector there are more than 10 million jobs. In the coal sector, for example, only 7 million jobs. The renewable energy price reduction varies from region to region, but they still become cheaper every year. The decrease in the cost of lithium batteries from 2010 was 80% and led to an increase in the number of electric vehicles to 1.5 million in 2016, compared with 700,000 in 2015. 60 watt LED bulbs cost $100 apiece in 2010, now less than $2.”

CAN also took the opportunity to hold a discussion on “Practical aspects of transition to 100% renewable energy” as this goal still seems elusive, despite the international trend in the clean energy sector.

The panel brought together representatives of Agricole Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the Energy Ministry of Ukraine, the Danish Energy Agency and the Mayor of Zhytomyr to discuss their commitments for a complete transition to renewable energy and illustrate how this is already being achieved.

Participants on the panel included:

  1. Dr. Stephan Singer, Climate Action Network International, Senior Advisor on Global Energy Policies;
  2. Mr. Yuri Dziuba, Director of Logistic and Real Estate Department of Credit Agricole;
  3. Mr. Sergiy Sukhomlyn, Mayor of Zhytomyr City (Ukraine);
  4. Mr. Sergiy Maslichenko, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Associate Director Energy Efficiency and Climate Change;
  5. Mr. Kristoffer Bottzauw, General Director, Danish Energy Agency; and
  6. Ms. Olga Buslavets, Ministry of energy and coal industry of Ukraine, Director  of  Directorate  of Energy  Markets Development.

Over the course of the discussion Dr. Singer touched on the significant sustainable development co-benefits that a full transition to renewables can bring. 

“Today renewable energy sources contribute only 20% to the global energy mix. The remaining 80% comes from burning fossil fuels which results in the death of 7 to 9 million people each year. CO2 is a long-lived gas and it will remain in the atmosphere for many decades, so we must reduce emissions as soon as possible.”

The recent IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C clearly shows, however, that the window of opportunity is closing fast and that current leaders carry a heavy weight of responsibility to step up and enhance ambition on climate action in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement.  

“In spite of all the positive trends we are far from reaching the Paris Agreement goals and we must do more and move faster on 100%RE,” Dr. Singer concluded.