Ukrainian business sees both challenges and opportunities in the implementation of the European Green Deal, Olha Boiko, the coordinator of the Industrial Ecology and Sustainable Development Committee of the European Business Association (EBA), has said.
“The position of Ukrainian business: we unequivocally support the introduction of the European Green Deal and the attraction of Ukraine to it. And we assess it in two ways: we see both challenges and opportunities in it,” she said at the discussion entitled “Green Deal: Impact on Ukraine and its Business” organized by Interfax-Ukraine and its special project Energy Reform on Thursday.
Speaking about challenges, Boiko said that it is not enough to declare certain principles or obligations, but it is important to think about their implementation. “Usually, on behalf of the state, the government declares something and assumes obligations, but business has to do everything,” she said.
At the same time, the coordinator of the committee said that if the Ukrainian industry does not take part, in particular, in ecological modernization, then it really runs the risk of falling under the negative influence of the planned tax regulation associated with the introduction of a carbon tax when exporting goods from Ukraine to the EU.
“We have roughly calculated that this could cost Ukrainian business over EUR 550 million. This is a very large figure. Why? Because 94% of this amount will have to be paid by the metallurgical and energy sectors, because, due to their energy intensity, they will be most vulnerable to these changes,” Boiko said.
According to her, the metallurgical industry is the least ready to implement the Green Deal, being still far from the levels of modernization of European companies that have been dealing with this issue for a long time, including the support of the government.
“Our companies are forced to raise their own funds for modernization, so the sources of financing for the green transition are very important. Europe allocates EUR 1 trillion for this, and this raises the question of what our government will offer to support Ukrainian business,” Boiko said.
At the same time, she said that the Ukrainian authorities understand the urgency and importance of dialog between Ukraine and the EU and listen to the position of business.
She expressed the hope that thanks to this, Ukraine can be considered as a country that “will receive certain individual conditions or a so-called differentiated approach to the implementation of measures under the European Green Deal.”