Polluters must reform today to gain edge in Ukraine’s European future – Minister Strilets

Polluters must reform today to gain edge in Ukraine’s European future – Minister Strilets

Ukrainian enterprises, which pose as sources of environmental pollution, should modernize as early as possible in order to remain competitive on the European market in the long run.

This was stated by the Minister for Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine, Ruslan Strilets, who spoke in an interview with Ukrinform on the sidelines of the Ukraine Green Recovery Conference in Vilnius.

"Ukraine has chosen the path of European integration, which is enshrined in the Constitution. There is no other way for Ukraine and there will not be any. That is, if the company wants to operate in European Ukraine, they must meet European requirements," the minister emphasized.

At the level of state, government, and Ministry of the Environmental Protection, it is possible to speed up the process of implementation of European directives and standards, the minister explained, adding that without the implementation of the reform of industrial pollution and further steps in the introduction of climate policy in Ukraine, " all Ukrainian enterprises that pollute the environment and at the same time export their produce to the EU will be subject to additional customs duties under CBAM (Carbon Import Adjustment Mechanism)."

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"If they do the math, companies will lose more in the long run. And given that the process of European integration is not set to be completed in one day and that we are striving to become a part of civilized Europe for good, taking such measures today will definitely benefit companies in the future. And the positive thing for the population is definitely that the impact of industries on the environment will be reduced," Ruslan Strilets emphasized.

The minister added that the war became an objective reason for the decrease in the level of harmful emissions in Ukraine because a large number of industrial giants were affected.

"But such unfortunate circumstances also give us a chance to modernize our industry and, on the way to this goal, to lay down European standards in our legislation, so that the restoration of industries takes place using the best available technologies," the minister summarized.

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As reported, in September the European Commission announced the beginning of a transition period in the application of the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), which introduces a "carbon" tax on goods entering the EU from third countries.

The size of such a tax shall be determined by the carbon footprint in the imported goods, that is, the amount of CO2 emissions generated as a result of their production.

The transitional period in the application of CBAM, which was launched on October 1, will allow all importers supplying products to the EU to learn about the new rules and adjust to their practical implementation.

During the transitional phase, as noted in the European Commission's clarification, CBAM will only apply to certain categories of goods, including cement, iron, steel, aluminum, fertilizers, electricity, and hydrogen. Importers supplying these goods to the EU will be required to report the level of carbon released into the environment during the production process, although this will not incur any financial penalties during the transitional phase.

Read also: Black Sea primary target of EU assessment of environmental damage caused by Russia

The European Union has enshrined in its legislation the goal of making the economy environmentally friendly and achieving zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The goal will be achieved through the use of clean technologies in the production of renewable energy, green innovations in industrial production, reducing the energy intensity of the residential sector and administrative buildings, the transition to environmentally friendly transport, etc.

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