Yesterday we heard three opinions on compliance with the requirements of the National Emission Reduction Plan (NERP) at the committee hearings on reducing air emissions in Ukraine:
- The public and people’s deputies insist on implementing the plan.
- However, central executive bodies keep talking about postponing deadlines under pressure from industrial financial groups.
- European partners emphasize that there is no legal mechanism for that. Moreover, they note that Ukraine had more time to meet such obligations than other countries did. Actually, the NERP enables us to defer meeting the requirements of Directive 2010/75/EU on industrial emissions.
Consequently, if Ukraine—namely the Ministry of Energy of Ukraine as the key implementer—keeps trying to sabotage compliance with the requirements of the NERP, we may face a scenario where we violate our international obligations, while Europe starts taking appropriate measures, up to the suspension of our right to vote in the governing bodies of the Energy Community. Everyone who is trying to sabotage the plan advocates for that scenario.
To avoid the scenario and keep away from the point of no return, we’ll do our best to inform the international partners about the position of each responsible representative in this situation.
About manipulation and blackmail
When the state sold thermal power plants to private companies at apparently non-market prices, it added certain environmental obligations to sales contracts, namely installing gas cleaning systems that comply with the requirements of the Energy Community Treaty. In other words, investors acquired power plants at a low cost to invest more in their further greening.
Additionally, the owners of the power plants agreed to implement such greening for the second time in 2012 when they—together with the Ministry of Energy of Ukraine—drew up a list of power plants that would operate. Therefore, they have to install sulphur, nitrogen, and particulate filter systems to meet European environmental standards
The authorities laid the foundation to fund the greening of power plants back when they sold state property to private companies. At the time, by selling its power plants at a low cost, the state imposed greening obligations on private companies. And they assumed those obligations. For instance, here’s a copy of one of the contracts with a private investor.
Ten years later, they’ve forgotten about their investment obligations and started affirming that they have no money for greening. Besides, these companies have shifted the responsibility onto the state in a blink of an eye.
Intended to blackmail the state, their statements are absolutely manipulative!
The state doesn’t have to pay for the obligations the companies assumed even if they did that more than 10 years ago.
The public’s position remains unchanged, as every year we lose costs us health, while millions of tons* of harmful substances settle in our and our children’s lungs.
*In 2019, large combustion plants to be greened according to the NERP emitted 155,895.8 tons of particulates, 599,270.0 tons of SO2, and 119,145.9 tons of NOx.
This publication has been made within the frameworks of the Accountability Fund (Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands). The views and opinions expressed in this article may not reflect the official position of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.