Ukraine needs not only compensation for environmental damage, but also a strategy for restoring the environment

Alina Sokolenko, the head of the Association, in an article for Ukrinform focused on the environmental criteria from the ESG and the devastating effects of wars and preparations for them on all aspects of the environment.
"Ukraine will not be able to meet its international environmental obligations, in part because projects and programs supported by the international community have been largely curtailed. Let's just remember the EBRD Green Cities project, which included Mariupol ... "

Environmental, social and management funds, or ESGs, have become hugely popular over the past five years and have become a major trend, with promises of increased profits, betterment of the world, prevention of global climate change, prevention of corruption and even war.

Therefore, it is not surprising that the largest investment companies, supporters of ESG, felt the effects of the war in Ukraine on their accounts.

According to S&P Capital IQ, investors who bought the $ 2.1 billion BlackRock bond fund for emerging markets, which tracks the JPMorgan ESG index, lost 4.74% since the beginning of the invasion compared to 3.78% of losses for investors in the traditional fund for emerging markets.
Sovereign ESG assessments do not measure how resilient countries are. Measuring a country's resilience depends more on its wealth and the correlation of per capita carbon emissions, at least according to most rating agencies. Ethical criteria are now a wish rather than a norm of choice.
So who in Ukraine calculates what lies behind every criterion of stability in conditions of war?

I suggest considering the environmental criterion, as it is the largest, perhaps even the most critical in scope, and the most uncertain. Today there is no single world or Ukrainian defined methodology for calculating the impact on the environment in the war and postwar periods. After all, no war in one territory has borders on the global ecosystem.
Impact of military maintenance on the environment
The impact of wars on the environment begins long before them. Building and maintaining a military force consumes a huge amount of resources. Military vehicles, aircraft, ships, buildings and infrastructure need energy, and this is primarily colossal CO2 emissions.
Perhaps the next climate summit should include on the agenda the impact of war on global climate change policy and adjust the criteria for assessing the nationally determined contribution to the Paris Agreement.
It is estimated that military lands occupy 1 to 6% of the global land surface
In addition, the military also needs large areas of land and sea, whether for bases and facilities, or for testing and training. It is estimated that military lands occupy 1 to 6% of the global land surface. Military training and education creates emissions, destroys landscapes, terrestrial and marine habitats, and creates chemical and noise pollution from the use of weapons, aircraft and vehicles.
Impact of direct hostilities on the environment
The greatest impact on the socio-ecological environment occurs during hostilities, and most importantly it is very different. For example, some international armed conflicts can be short but very destructive, while civil wars can last for decades but with low intensity.

In Ukraine, we are witnessing a high intensity of hostilities, as a result of which a huge amount of fuel is consumed, which leads to massive CO2 emissions and contributes to climate change. Large-scale vehicle movements and constant explosions, bombings lead to extensive physical damage to sensitive landscapes and biodiversity.

The use of explosive weapons causes emissions into the atmosphere, pollution of water, air, land, biodiversity loss, fires, arson and more.
And now we will include the impact due to damage to light industry and environmentally sensitive infrastructure, such as water treatment plants, dams. Loss of energy supply can have negative consequences in the form of a chain reaction to the operation of critical infrastructure and again as a result of the environment. Yes, attacks on industrial, oil or energy facilities, their unintentional damage or destruction can be used as weapons of war, to pollute large areas and to spread terror.

Today, we are also witnessing an active strategy to destroy agricultural infrastructure, as such tactics threaten food security not only in Ukraine but also in partner countries. Unintentional or intentional large-scale pollution incidents can lead to transboundary impacts of air, aquifer and sea pollution, which will ultimately have an impact on the global climate.
Weapons of mass destruction
Chemical weapons, toxic and radioactive components of weapons used or remaining on the battlefield need critical attention. Incendiary weapons, such as white phosphorus, are not only toxic but can also cause fires in large areas.
Post-war state and environment
This is not the whole list of environmental impacts, because the war also affects deforestation, in particular, it is an excessive increase in deforestation for military needs, and possible unauthorized export of wood by the occupiers, as previously reported in the Defense Ministry. This also applies to the extraction of natural resources, especially with a simplified permitting system during the war.

Special attention needs to be paid to waste management, including hazardous waste.
After all, during the war the amount of waste increased many times: it is damaged infrastructure facilities, houses, various buildings, etc., and the possibilities of recycling or disposal are limited.

At the same time, the issue of displacement of people and the corresponding impact due to the sudden compaction of the population in one area and increasing the burden on the ecosystem remains difficult.
The situation is not expected to improve in the post-war period, as weapons and military equipment used during the war also leave an ecological legacy. Damage to the environment after a war usually does not end in a purely peace agreement and a ceasefire. Landmines, cluster munitions and other explosive remnants of war can restrict access to agricultural land and contaminate soils and water sources with metals and toxic energy materials.
Development of a methodology for calculating the impact on the environment
It is an indisputable fact that today there is no single world or Ukrainian defined methodology for calculating the impact on the environment in the war and postwar periods. Therefore, it is already necessary to develop a methodology according to which Ukraine will not only receive compensation for environmental damage, but also have a strategy to restore the environment.
The presence of the armed forces may extend to the post-war phase. The transfer or liberation of occupied territories is related to the problems of environmental pollution in all its manifestations. The damage that war inflicts on environmental governance can have consequences for many years to protect the environment.
Especially when attention to environmental issues is usually secondary among competing social and economic priorities. It is expected that the country will not be able to meet its international environmental obligations, in part due to the fact that projects and programs supported by the international community are largely curtailed. Let's just mention the EBRD Green Cities project, which included Mariupol.

The goal of the EBRD Green Cities project is to build a better and more sustainable future for cities and their residents. The program aims to address the environmental problems of cities and direct sustainable investment in infrastructure and capacity development. Among the cities (Khmelnytsky, Kryvyi Rih, Dnipro, Kharkiv, Lviv, Kyiv and Mariupol).

A similar project in IFC Smart City Zaporozhye.
International tensions caused by geopolitical changes paralyze the international community in making decisions that are critical to our state, including its sustainable development. Military impacts on the environment and social environment can be seen as sustainable development in the opposite direction, pushing the country back years. Not only because of the new damage, but also in the development that would have taken place if there had been no war. But we have a great new opportunity to establish our own history of democracy and freedom, which has already inspired the whole world.
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