Environmental impacts of the war in Ukraine and prospects for a green reconstruction

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Since the Revolution of Dignity and the signing of the European Union-Ukraine Association Agreement in 2014, Ukraine has accelerated its efforts to address environmental challenges and started the green transformation of its economic development. This economic and environmental progress has been under attack since the start of the Russian invasion, setting back hopes for a green and sustainable economy in Ukraine.

The war has caused widespread and severe damage to the environment and inflicted both immediate and longer-term consequences on the human health, ecosystems and the Ukrainian economy and beyond. The government is developing a Post-war Recovery and Development Plan that aligns with green economy and low-emission development principles.

In the short term, Ukraine should focus on eliminating and reducing the immediate risks that the war poses to human health and the environment. In the longer term, post-war “green” reconstruction should not be seen as a desirable but optional “extra”, but as an economic necessity for a fundamental transformation of Ukraine towards a green and net-zero economy.

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