If you follow us and read our posts with the hashtag #NERP, you already know that Ukraine embarked on the path to gradually purify the air back in 2011 when it joined the Energy Community.
Afterwards, private companies bought thermal power plants and heating plants from the state at a low cost, but they undertook to implement ecological modernization. Finally, these companies teamed up with the authorities to draw up the current National Emission Reduction Plan (NERP) by putting forward their proposals for a list of plants to be greened and those to be decommissioned.
On 19 January, the Environmental Committee held the session to discuss the possibility of reducing air emissions in Ukraine. At the session, the Ministry of Energy of Ukraine—the key implementer of the NERP—once again told us about the alleged need to postpone the NERP for another 5–10 years. Our European partners reiterated that there was no legal mechanism for such postponement, while the Ukrainian NERP was actually a way to defer meeting the requirements of Directive 2010/75/EU on industrial emissions.
What’s happening today?
The big business lobbies rallied and started ‘playing a game’ by throwing the NERP from one context to another and misrepresenting the facts.
By contrast, the environmental community consisting of 30 top NGOs gathered all the information about the attempts to sabotage Ukraine’s international obligations and addressed an open letter to our European partners.
- Plant owners are directly responsible for greening and therefore have to bear the expenses! They agreed twice by getting the power plants at a low cost and then helping draw up the current NERP.
- Any postponement is out of the question because the NERP is actually a permission to poison Ukrainians longer than in other countries.
- The plants that switched from anthracite to gas can’t be seen as a tennis ball! You can’t take the plants from the list of those to be decommissioned and add them to the list of those to be operated after 2033! There is a reason to close them—they’re the oldest and dirtiest ones!
Last week, our colleague Iryna Chernysh brought up this problem at the meeting at the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine.
The NERP can’t be changed. Stop wasting time! We deserve safer air!