Steffi Lemke launches Environmental Platform at Ukraine Reconstruction Conference

Bundesumweltministerin Lemke bei der Ukraine Wiederaufbaukonferenz 2024
In her speech in English, Steffi Lemke emphasizes the importance of environmental protection for the reconstruction of Ukraine and its integration into the EU.

– Check against delivery –

Minister Strilets,
Commissioner Sinkevičius,
Executive Director Andersen,
Secretary-General Cormann,
Executive Secretary Molcean, 

In wartime, human suffering and the most urgent needs of people require our immediate attention. Today we are looking to the future, to recovery. Which includes climate action and environmental protection. We were in agreement on this point in my conversations with Minister Strilets and his cabinet colleagues in Kyiv last October.

Environmental protection is not just about remedying the catastrophic environmental impacts of war. It also lays the foundation for a sustainable recovery process and Ukraine joining the EU. This is why I am pleased that we could include environmental protection on the conference agenda.

The focus is on transposing EU environmental legislation and establishing the preconditions for its implementation.

This has to be linked to the economic recovery process. Framework conditions and incentives must be created to encourage investment by businesses and municipalities.

I am aware that setting priorities will not be simple due to the war situation, the damage and the limited funds. But it is clear that good environmental infrastructure is the basis for a sustainable and competitive economy.

This is why we are starting an Environment Platform to support the Ukrainian government on the path to joining the EU. Efforts are being coordinated and shared with the European Commission, which is of course responsible for the further accession process.

I am very pleased that the OECD, UNEP and UNECE are signing a cooperation agreement today. They will act as sponsors of the platform, bringing their economic and environmental expertise to the recovery.

I am also pleased that we can already launch activities thanks to UNEP’s financial resources and the technical capacities of the OECD, UNEP and UNECE. The German Environment Ministry will start with a contribution of five million euros.

I would be very happy to see this initiative receive support from a broader group of donors.

I wish us all every success working together for a strong Ukraine.

11.06.2024 | Speech International

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