The carbon threat that emerged in the twentieth century is much more dangerous than many politicians and representatives of financial and industrial groups believe, who are in the old paradigm of using ecosystem services without replenishing them, ignoring the risks of environmental degradation. Therefore, Ukraine's prospects largely depend on decarbonization and growth rates of the innovative economy as a response to existing challenges.
Climate change is an actual adversary, the force of which many still do not realize, although the destruction of ecosystems is already visible to the naked eye, namely, temperature fluctuations, the frequency of natural disasters, changes in agricultural conditions, problems of natural water areas, etc. Coordination of efforts between states in matters of balanced development (sustainability) is becoming a vital imperative for the world community.
The processes taking place on the planet stimulate responsible managers to move towards a new technological order. The initiatives to create specialized innovation agencies and the readiness of the governments of developed countries to increase funding for scientific research, in particular in the UK and the USA, are logical, with statements about the importance of meeting the new reality (epidemiological factors are only a part of it).
Ukraine runs the risk of significantly lagging behind technology leaders, which raises the bar for the country's leadership. Considering the introduction in the European Union of a carbon tax on imports, which directly affects the interests of Ukrainian exporters, it is no longer possible to postpone actions that had to be performed “the day before yesterday” without consequences for the country. It should also be borne in mind that the СВАМ (carbon border adjustment) mechanism is aimed at reducing CO2 by synchronizing jurisdictions, so that all enterprises are guided by uniform standards, without hiding in "climatic offshores".
It is undoubtedly a positive trend that the owners of global companies of such a level as Bill Gates are involved in the development of solutions to minimize climate risks. In a book recently presented by him, quantitative and qualitative indicators are indicated that should be taken into account when making management decisions. Thus, 51 billion tons of greenhouse gases that are annually produced into the atmosphere should be reduced to zero by 2050 - this is the common responsibility of all participants in international relations, both at the state and business level.
Thanks to an integrated approach in the work of all authorities, achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 in the EU looks quite realistic. The consistent work of European institutions to apply the best available technologies (BAT) is bearing fruit in the form of closed-loop production, resource efficiency and highly competitive output products. European partners demonstrate a high level of management and the complexity of organizational and financial solutions on the example of the official European Green Deal policy.
The increased media activity of government officials on green issues in Ukraine is important as part of the information agenda, but it should not replace practical steps towards eco-modernization, in particular, the issue of implementing the National Plan for the Reduction of Emissions from Large Combustion Plants (NIPP) remains open. The current crisis situation in the energy sector of Ukraine, the lack of a full-fledged monitoring of the state of the environment and the inconsistency with European standards of environmental safety are the result of many years of fragmentary decisions in the government and shadow agreements between stakeholders. Improving the environmental situation with the simultaneous formation of an innovative development model should be a strategic task for the team of President Zelensky.
In connection with the criteria of European integration on the part of companies included in the list of polluting enterprises of the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine, the media voiced a position on the difficulty or impossibility of fulfilling international obligations in the field of environmental safety. I emphasize that the achievements of the EU countries in the field of innovation and European standards are a useful experience and guideline for all spheres of business. It is significant that in their economic policies Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia use the achievements of their European colleagues in industry much more efficiently than Ukraine. The creation of special GOSTs for the introduction of BATs (best available technologies) and their implementation into the regulatory framework of these countries shows that Ukraine in the post-Soviet space is lagging behind in the renewal of industrial and energy infrastructure, despite the association agreement with the EU and the possibility of attracting additional resources for eco-modernization.
I would like to note that in the sphere of sustainable For more than a year, there have been support programs and business opportunities (for example, IFC and EBRD projects). Unfortunately, many Ukrainian enterprises cannot pass compliance to enter world stock exchanges in order to attract a cheap financial resource due to the specifics of the origin of assets or failure to fulfill investment obligations during privatization. Therefore, in the interests of national security, it is necessary to conduct an audit of enterprises that did not fulfill the primary conditions of the privatization tender for modernization, ecology, social and other issues, which violated the rights of other participants in the tender and created problems for residents of the territories where these objects are located. Since the limited access of these enterprises to financial markets forces them to influence the government, eventually blocking innovations, regardless of the needs of people, nature and the country's international obligations. It is important that the NSDC and the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine begin to apply the principles of risk management in their work, one of which is proactive actions.
Every year at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, leading world experts present reports with a detailed list of risks in terms of the likelihood and magnitude of their occurrence. And environmental issues are consistently in the top five priority issues (climate change, loss of biological diversity, depletion of fresh water, natural disasters, etc.). That is, the exchange of knowledge on risk reduction mechanisms has long been practiced at the level of a global platform that unites political leaders and the business elite to increase the competitiveness of their economies, as well as increase the quality and life expectancy of citizens. For Ukraine, now is the time to launch mechanisms of synergy between science, business and the state for the systematic solution of internal problems through the prism of global ones.
In 2012, during the lifetime of the founder of the Davos Forum, renowned scientist Bohdan Havrylyshyn, we organized a visit to Ukraine of his student, a member of the Club of Rome, Gunter Pauli, to present the report “Blue Economy: 10 Years, 100 Innovations, 100 Million Jobs”. In his book, the author outlined the practical experience of launching business projects on the principles developed by nature in the process of evolution (zero waste, cascade, etc.). This is one example of where you can draw knowledge for solving urgent problems.
The use of world experience, the achievements of scientists, in particular the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (NASU) and the innovation of companies with transparent capitalization, can become the basis for both the economic strengthening of Ukraine and its environmental subject on the world stage. After all, they reckon with those who are strong not so much in resources as in the intellectual content of the state strategy and its implementation.