Kyiv’s Environment Minister Ruslan Strilets said Monday that Russia should take responsibility for environmental damage caused by its invasion of Ukraine at UN climate talks.
Ukraine is launching a platform to assess environmental damage caused by Russia’s military actions, Strilets explained at a press conference on the sidelines of the COP27 summit held in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.
“Russia must answer not only to Ukraine, but also to the whole world,” he said.
Kyiv believes that the new platform will “unify the international approach to environmental and climate damage assessment” and “strengthen international cooperation in restoring the environment damaged by armed conflicts.”
“But the main challenge, and we understand it, is that it will be very difficult for us to file a lawsuit (legally) for every environmental damage,” he said.
The minister added that direct CO2 emissions from the occupation of Moscow are equal to 33 million tons, and emissions from the expected reconstruction of infrastructure could reach 49 million tons of CO2, the minister added.
According to Strilets, more than 2,200 cases of damage to the environment have been registered.
The invasion, which began in February, has led to food and gas shortages around the world, prompting other countries to seek to increase production to fill the void in the two main exporters.
In July, Strilets told EU environment ministers that the war had destroyed forests, polluted water, contaminated fields and filled them with landmines.
According to him, the Russian invasion has damaged three million hectares (7.4 million acres) of Ukrainian forests.
The EU environment ministers, in turn, promised to provide assistance to Kyiv.
Czech Minister Anna Hubakova said members of the 27-nation bloc could help map and analyze the damage and provide financial assistance.