Ukraine's support for the goals embedded in the EU Green Deal is a practical step within the rubric of the national development strategy which outlines closer integration with the EU. This opinion was expressed by Oleksandr Kucherenko, Director of sustainable development at DTEK, who spoke at the Day of Sustainable Development organized by the European Business Association.
“The way we, as a country, as a business, react and take steps towards the implementation of this program is evidence of our readiness to enter the European community. We are talking about changing our culture and values, and above all, the culture of energy consumption”, O. Kucherenko said.
He noted that DTEK is actively working to achieve the Green Deal goals in the context of decarbonization, the development of renewable energy sources and the transformation of coal regions.
“DTEK has approved its 2030 Sustainable Development Strategy, which takes into account the main elements of the European green agenda. We understand that decarbonization is not a political slogan or a fashion trend, but a condition for business development. That is why, in our corporate strategy, we set ourselves an ambitious goal: the decarbonization our electricity production by 2040”, said DTEK's director of sustainable development.
O. Kucherenko also recalled that DTEK has already invested EUR 1.2 billion in the development of green generation in Ukraine and currently has 1 GW of wind and solar power plants under its management. “Also, in November 2019, DTEK Renewables was the first company in Ukraine to issue green Eurobonds to the amount of EUR 325 million. This measure was aimed at increasing the share of renewable sources in Ukraine,” he said.
Moreover, in his speech, O. Kucherenko highlighted the issue of a fair transformation for coal regions. “Currently, about 40’000 people work at DTEK's thermal power plants and mines. The taxes paid by DTEK enterprises make up 60% of the budget of 18 mono-cities. That is why the planned and gradual decarbonization of the energy sector is an extremely important issue, because the well-being of thousands of families and dozens of towns will depend on this”, said DTEK's director of sustainable development.
He further noted that over the 15 years of its existence, the company has invested almost UAH 20 billion in sustainable development; with about UAH 10 billion, namely, in environmental protection (excluding the environmental tax); almost UAH 5 billion in labor protection and industrial safety; and UAH 3.5 billion in social facilities.
O. Kucherenko also expressed his conviction that investments in the implementation of Ukraine's "green" EU policy will lead the country's economy to technological progress, adding that the country will become even more energy efficient and innovative.