EU, Ukraine and the environment

Following on from yesterday’s post relating to the continuing successful low profile dealings between the EU and Ukraine, whilst the high profile bickering continues, on the same day the technical bits of the DCFTA were finally agreed and initialed (19th July), the first really serious negotiations relating to EU and Ukrainian environmental issues took place.

This meeting was held between Eduard Stavytsky the Ukrainian Environment Minister and the European Commissioner for the Environment, Janez Potocnik.  The net result of this meeting is the agreement to launch high level dialogue on matters environmental.

Well, why not?  Many environmental issues simply refuse to adhere to national borders unlike governments and people, thus environmental issues in Ukraine may be of concern to the EU nations and vice versa.

It should also come as no real surprise then that when Mr Stavytsky met with Connie Hedegaard, EU Commissioner for Climate Action,  (yes the EU has a Commissioner for everything), also on 19th, the EU and Ukraine resumed the sales and purchase of emission quotas.

One assumes that the EU are now happy Ukraine’s Kyoto Protocol books are now in order after the debacle caused by Ms Tymoshenko momentarily forgetting where she put the money the Chinese paid for AAUs from Ukraine, causing an external audit of the Ukrainian carbon credit books and carbon credit generating schemes which were typically found wanting.

It is only natural that now the Ukrainian carbon books are in order and buying Ukrainian fresh air to offset others dirty air is now allowed globally once more, the EU is in the market to buy that clean air once again.

Of course this is not the only Ukrainian interest in getting friendly with the EU over issues environmental.  Aside from opening another channel of high level dialogue far removed from the headlines concerning Tymoshenko and others that both sides will quietly use to continue to talk to each other through, (and it is one of many despite the appearances that everything stops when Barroso or Ashton remember to bang the Tymoshenko drum), there is also a fair amount of EU sponsored environmental schemes that are undoubtedly poorly managed, improperly audited, and heavily financed and thus appealing from a Ukrainian politicians point of view.

Here is a list of one such EU scheme called LIFE.  It is not by any means the only EU funded environmental scheme in existence.

Chernobyl and a few other international (rather than simply EU) funded projects aside, I expect there is great scope for attracting EU money for environmental issues that could be deemed to pose a threat to EU Member States unless tackled post haste.

Let’s watch this space and see just how long it takes for Ukraine to appear on a list such as LIFE with numerous EU funded projects to its name (and typically poor accounting from both sides).