June 25, 2018

City in Ukraine announces commitment to 100% renewable energy by 2050

Zhytomyr, Ukraine is the first city in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA) to announce a transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050. On June 22, 2018 the Mayor of Zhytomyr, Serhiy Sukhomlyn and 350.org signed a memorandum of cooperation stipulating that the City Council will vote to pass the policy, develop a renewable energy transition plan, and create a local climate strategy next year.

“Currently, Zhytomyr works with international partners on many energy solutions. It is urgent for us to reduce carbon emissions in the city. Already, we’re beginning to transition the city to LED lights and modernize the city’s heating. Also, we have expanded the Municipal Energy Plan and drafted The Concept of City Integrated Development with six priorities; including a ‘Green city’,” stated Sukhomlyn. The mayor, with the support of 350.org, will announce Zhytomyr’s ground-breaking objective during the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco on September 12-14, 2018. At the summit, political leaders from around the world will gather to set ambitious goals to tackle the climate crisis, including local transitions to 100% renewables.

Renewable energy campaigners and city councillors meet with the mayor to sign a Memorandum of understanding.

“Mayor Sukhomlyn’s momentous announcement to move to 100% renewable energy has both national and international significance. Given that Ukraine is a country in military conflict, dependent on imported coal, natural gas and nuclear power, we must ensure energy security, energy independence and development of renewable energy sources. Zhytomyr is blazing the path to real climate leadership by becoming the first city to bring forward local climate policy, since stopping the use of fossil fuels is necessary to prevent catastrophic climate change,” said Julia Melnyk (Pashkovska), 350.org Renewable Energy Campaigner in EECCA region.

In the next two months, several other Ukrainian cities are expected to announce their own transitions to 100% renewable energy by 2050. “Zhytomyr’s announcement is a powerful signal that the global campaign to go Fossil Free and end the era of fossil fuels is taking hold in Ukraine. This move demonstrates that Ukraine’s transition to 100% renewable energy is starting at the local level. According to CDP, by January 2018, 43 cities in the world (including 25 in Brazil, 5 in Europe and 3 in Africa) have already successfully transitioned to 100% renewable energy. 350.org, as a part of the international climate movement, will continue to support other cities to develop their 100% renewable energy plans and climate strategies.”

“Regarding Zhytomyr, 350.org will facilitate the synergy of local city authorities, entrepreneurs, and active citizens around 100% renewable energy policy. We also want to highlight and display the progress of Ukrainian cities’ climate leadership globally in international and European media. We’re fed up with news about Ukraine being labeled simply as ‘Crimea’, ‘Donbas’ and ‘Chornobyl’ – it’s time for our national identity to undergo its own transition to a green, innovative, international leader,” stated Svitlana Romanko, 350.org Regional Coordinator and Climate Change Solutions Campaigner in EECCA region.

Ukraine has the technical and economic capacity to reform the energy sector and increase the share of renewable energy by 91% until 2050. The report was published by The Institution of Economics and Forecasting under the National Academy of Science of Ukraine, carried out with the support of Heinrich Boell Stiftung.

Note: 350.org is building the global grassroots climate movement that can hold our leaders accountable to science and justice to stop climate change with promotion of climate and renewable energy solutions. The organization was founded by Bill McKibben, American environmentalist and writer. Its name was taken from James Hansen’s research, a scholar in NASA, who defined that the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere must be at most 350 ppm, otherwise catastrophic climate changes are inescapable. By June 2018 this index is 411.17 ppm, thus it requires urgent action to avoid the catastrophic impacts of climate change. 350.org achieves its goals by mobilising active grassroots groups and communities around the world.

The next mobilisation, “Rise for Climate”, will take place on September 8, 2018. Global and national organizations on climate change and 100% renewable energy transition will join the worldwide action. See details on the regional site. In Ukraine and Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia, 350.org leads the “Cities for Life” campaign and the Climate Leadership Program “Activate the energy”. Information about the Campaign and the Program is available here. 350.Україна, 350.org Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia 350.org are also participants in an international coalition of non-governmental organizations, “Energy Transition”, which works towards achieving the goal to provide the Ukraine to 100% renewable energy by 2050.

To get more details turn to: Iryna Sopilnyak, communication manager (digital campaigner) of 350.org in EECCA region: [email protected] +380502478770