Vinnytsia is the First Ukrainian Community to Declare a Green Deal
28 January 2022, 14:07
The European Green Deal (EGD) is a comprehensive program of EU strategic decisions and actions aimed at achieving sustainable and effective development at all levels of the economy and society, as well as transforming Europe into the first climate-neutral continent by 2050.
The main advantages of involvement in EGD are the use of new mechanisms and the implementation of innovative ideas to improve urban space and improve the environmental quality of life, attract green finance and investment, access to EU markets and more.
Vinnytsia became the first city in Ukraine to declare a Green Deal. Today, during the session of Vinnytsia City Council, the Declaration on the Green Deal of Vinnytsia was signed with the participation of the Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine, the Government Office for Coordination of European and Euro-Atlantic Integration and Ukrainian parliamentarians.
"Today is a significant event for the Vinnytsia community – we are the first in Ukraine to join the European Green Deal. The basis for the implementation of the Green Deal of Vinnytsia were the principles of the EU initiative European Green Deal, adopted in 2019. Their goal is to make Europe the world's first climate-neutral continent by 2050. The government has announced the intention of our country to join the European Green Deal, work is underway to write a Roadmap for Ukraine. However, Ukrainian cities at the local level are already moving in this direction, and I hope that they will adopt the relevant declarations and programs," said Vinnytsia Mayor Serhii Morhunov.
The Mayor added that the Vinnytsia Green Deal is a logical continuation of the community's long-term plans for green development, enshrined in both the Vinnytsia Integrated Development Concept until 2030 and Strategy 3.0. In particular, the priorities of the Community Development Strategy for the next 9 years are "Green Economy and Smart Specialization" and "Accessible, Safe and Ecologically Friendly Environment".
The key areas for the implementation of the EGD, adopted by the European Commission in 2019, are climate change prevention and adaptation, biodiversity, zero pollution, industrial policy, sustainable nutrition and green agriculture, waste management, sustainable and smart mobility, energy and energy efficiency.
"Vinnytsia has already achieved certain results in green development. In 2015, our city was the first in Eastern Europe to receive the European Energy Award, later in 2019, we confirmed it. And we are working to get the golden European energy award. In addition, today at the session we decided to purchase environmentally friendly transport – 10 electric buses. Also this year, we expect to receive Swiss trams Tram-2000, which will also significantly improve the environmental component of urban mobility. We are quite active in developing cycling infrastructure. We strive to attract international experts and financial resources for the implementation of green projects that we have plans. I am convinced that this is very important for every Vinnytsia family. I think that with the joint efforts of the European Union, the Government, the Parliament, the territorial community, the region, we will be able to move systematically in this direction," said Serhii Morhunov.
The intentions and goals stated in the Declaration will be continued in the Roadmap of measures for the implementation of the Green Deal of Vinnytsia until 2030. The roadmap will serve as a guide for the Vinnytsia community in the direction of green transformation and will help attract green investment, modernization, innovation and digitalization of the community.
Ambassador of the European Union to Ukraine Matti Maasikas congratulated Vinnytsia residents on the proclamation of the Green Deal. The diplomat joined today's session of the City Council via online communication. The Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine addressed the audience in Ukrainian.
"Friends, I am glad to take part in this event. It is a great honor for me. On a highly urbanized continent such as Europe, cities, towns and citizens play a key role in responding to climate change. I am pleased that your city and people are actively working on the green transformation of the community. Since the announcement of the European Green Deal in 2019, it sets the direction for transformational change. This is a new EU growth strategy. It reflects the idea of the transition of the whole economy to a green economy. It is gratifying to note that Ukraine shares these hopes. Another EU initiative, the Green City Accord, is a movement of European mayors working to make their cities cleaner and healthier. By signing the agreement, the cities are committed to addressing key environmental management issues. Not only national or local authorities, but every citizen plays a role in mitigating the effects of climate change. That is why your initiative is extremely important, it completely coincides with the initiatives launched by the European Union. Let me congratulate you on this initiative, which brings Vinnytsia to a leading position in terms of Ukraine's green transition, and can inspire and accelerate green transition at the local level. I would like to call on other cities in Ukraine to follow your example," said Matti Maasikas, Ambassador of the European Union to Ukraine.
Oleh Bondarenko, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Environmental Policy and Nature Management, also congratulated Vinnytsia residents on the proclamation of the Green Deal.
"Vinnytsia's signing of the Declaration on the Green Deal shows that Vinnytsia City Council is one of the flagships on the path of green transition. Undoubtedly, the issue of the transition of Europe and Ukraine to a climate-neutral economy and public life is on the agenda of both the Verkhovna Rada and the Government. The role of communities in the process of green economic transition cannot be underestimated. All the components presented in this document are relevant to the EU Green Deal and deserve attention. I hope that in a few years you will invite us to evaluate the implemented measures. And I am sure that we will appreciate them and will be happy together that Vinnytsia is a leading city in this direction, and we will offer other cities of our country to follow your example," said Oleh Bondarenko.
Yuliia Ovchynnykova, another representative of this committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, addressed the deputies and Vinnytsia residents. She is a well-known scientist, candidate of biological sciences, whose scientific activity is related to Donetsk National University named after Vasyl Stus in Vinnytsia.
"The signing of the Declaration on the Green Deal, as well as the implementation of the Roadmap once again shows that Vinnytsia is a real European city that is moving in the European direction and invests in all spheres of life an environmental component. I am confident that Vinnytsia will not only implement all the principles of sustainable development, but will also become an example for all cities of Ukraine," Yuliia Ovchynnykova said.
The Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine Olha Stefanishyna also praised Vinnytsia's desire for transformation with an emphasis on the environmental component: "I noticed that the Vinnytsia Green Deal was a logical continuation of the community's long-term sustainable development plans that had been developed earlier. I am grateful to the leadership of the city and region for attracting international partners and experts. I sincerely congratulate Vinnytsia with such a wonderful achievement."
The event was also attended by experts of the resource-analytical center Society and Environment Nataliia Andrusevych from Lviv and Svitlana Romanko from Ivano-Frankivsk, who in 2021 conducted online training for employees of Vinnytsia municipality and municipal enterprises on the topic "European Green Deal and Ukrainian city. Vinnytsia case". The trainings were held within the framework of the Qualification 2030 program with the support of the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ). The exercises resulted in recommendations on measures aimed at joining the Vinnytsia community to the principles of the European Green Deal, which are spelled out in the Roadmap of Vinnytsia City Territorial Community for the implementation of the Vinnytsia Green Deal until 2030.
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