Minister Steffi Lemke takes part in international conference in Kyiv to support Ukraine in its recovery efforts and in tackling environmental issues
Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke is taking part today in the international conference "United for Justice – United for Nature" in Kyiv at the invitation of the Ukrainian Environment Minister Ruslan Strilets. Minister Lemke will give a speech during a ministerial session and will then, together with her Ukrainian counterpart, open a Climate Office that will assist the Ukrainian government at central, regional and local level in achieving a climate-friendly, green recovery and in the EU accession process. Ukraine has organised the conference to shine a spotlight on the environmental damage that has been caused and on a forward-looking recovery process. The Federal Environment Ministry's support for Ukraine includes a contribution of 20 million euros for an emergency response fund (E5P) launched last December together with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke commented: "We are all deeply shocked by the Hamas terrorist attacks on the Israeli people and the Israeli state, and share the fears of widespread escalation in the region. And although the situation in the Middle East is of huge concern to us, we also remain steadfast in our solidarity with Ukraine. We see our support for the Ukrainian people as our duty. The Russian war of aggression is causing untold suffering to the Ukrainian people. It is also leading to significant destruction of nature and the environment – in the immediate and long term. The environmental impacts of the war will be felt for many years, if not decades. Today’s conference shows that the threat to and destruction of the natural foundations of life further intensifies the suffering of the population. This is another reason why we are providing Ukraine with emergency aid. Clean water and healthy soils are crucial to protecting people’s health and meeting their needs. This is why climate and environmental aspects also have to be top priorities in international support for recovery. We also want to secure this for the long term with an environmental platform together with the EU, OECD and UN organisations."
On the margins of the conference, Minister Lemke will meet the Ukrainian Environment Minister Rusland Strilets, Moldovan Environment Minister Iordanka-Rodika Iordanov and EU Environment Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius to canvass support for a greater focus on climate and environmental issues in the recovery process and for the idea of an environmental platform.
Other high-level participants in the conference include Margot Wallström, former Swedish Deputy Prime Minister and EU Environment Commissioner and Mary Robinson, former Irish President and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
The Federal Environment Ministry has primarily focussed on emergency response since the outbreak of war, in other words supporting the Ukrainian population and meeting their needs, such as clean water. To this end, it has launched a special "window" in a multi-donor fund of the Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership (E5P) at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. This is used to finance emergency response measures. Germany contributed 20 million euros to the Fund in December 2022.
This initiative laid the foundation for emergency response measures for the environment. It is open for additional donors, in particular the G7 countries. Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke will canvass further support in the margins of the conference.
The Ukrainian Climate Office is being financed by the EU and Germany’s International Climate Initiative. The office will be a central point of contact for green initiatives, projects, analyses and events on climate-relevant issues in Ukraine.
Ukraine is a priority country of the International Climate Initiative (IKI), which is supporting energy and climate projects in Ukraine with total funding of 274.5 million euros. Eight of these are bilateral projects with funding of 70.3 million euros. Two further bilateral projects are planned with total funding of 27.5 million euros.
The International Climate Initiative focusses on climate policy and green recovery.