Green economy – a trend or a need? Experts discussed the development of a green economy in Western Ukraine at CiSEP online round-table

By Iryna Shvets, OPORA Lviv

Environmental threats caused by global climate change and environmental degradation have been at the forefront of global development in recent years. It is obvious that they will shape the state’s agenda of the next decade, with an emphasis on the need to gradually restore natural ecosystems to a safe level, adherence to the principles of economic efficiency, social justice and sustainable development. The issue of how to respond to global challenges at the local level was discussed during two CiSEP online events on 13 and 14 of May 2020.

The expert round table “Developing a green economy in Western Ukraine” was held on May 13. More than 20 representatives from the public sector, universities, business and public administration gathered at the Zoom meeting. During the first of two parts, participants had the opportunity to get acquainted with the presentations of invited experts: Oleksandr Sushchenko (Center for Social Value Research), Natalia Andrusevich (Resource and Analytical Center “Society and Environment”), Olga Melnyk (Economic Development Agency “PPV Knowledge Networks”), Victoria Dovzhyk (advisor to the mayor of Lviv, deputy of the Lviv city council). In the second part of the round table event, all participants had the opportunity to exchange views on how “green” the economy in Lviv and Lviv region is today, what are the challenges and opportunities for local business development in response to climate change.

The event “CLIMATE TALKS: about the green economy for a planet under pressure”, which took place on May 14, was a logical continuation of both the expert round table and the thematic vector of the CiSEP Network. The event was organized by the CISEP regional partner, OPORA Lviv in partnership with PLATO NGO. The event in the format of an online discussion at the Zoom platform became a good ground for collecting insights from Oleksandr Sushchenko – Head of the Center for Social Value Research and researcher at the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research, Oleksiy Karnaushenko – Director of GreenEra Ukraine solid waste operator, Daria Yaremchuk – owner of art vegetarian café “Green”, Iryna Gavrychenko – environmental engineer at the company “Enzyme”. During the talk, representatives and owners of local businesses shared their observations on changes in value approaches to entrepreneurship, experience in implementing the principles of the closed-loop economy, increased producer responsibility and demand from consumers, victory and frustration in trying to reduce environmental and climate impact.

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Both events were part of a series of activities aimed at highlighting regional challenges in the process of implementing the Association Agreement with the EU and the DCFTA with the involvement of the Ukrainian civil society.

The Civic School for Sound EU Practice (CiSEP) is a training programme for active citizens and change makers from Ukraine. CiSEP creates a Ukraine-wide network of specialists on questions of the EU-Ukraine association agreement with the aim to strengthen the European integration of Ukraine.

CiSEP is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.