Ukraine reconstruction: why we need electric urban transport investments now
A sustainable transport reconstruction in Ukraine’s cities should be a priority not only in long-term post-war recovery plans, but also in urgent support programs.
25 October 2022
Photo credits: Ministry of Defense of Ukraine
A sustainable transport reconstruction in Ukraine’s cities should be a priority not only in long-term post-war recovery plans, but also in urgent support programs. On the occasion of the International Expert Conference on the Recovery, Reconstruction and Modernisation of Ukraine in Berlin on 25 October 2022, Bankwatch is releasing a video (embargoed till 25 October), explaining why electric urban transport should be a priority in the reconstruction of Ukraine’s cities. As illustrated in the case of Chernihiv, the heavily damaged cities in Ukraine are left to rely on their own scarce resources to address the most urgent transport-related needs.
While Ukraine’s 2030 National Transport Strategy envisages a full transition to electromobility, low-carbon transport was not a priority for the Ukrainian national and municipal governments before the war started. Now, with Ukraine’s road into the EU, the alignment of Ukraine’s transport system to the Green Deal becomes ever more important.
However, to successfully rebuild the urban transport infrastructure, municipalities are in dire need of financial support. As of 1 June 2022, the country’s transport sector needed an estimated USD 74 billion for reconstruction, which is higher than in any of the major sectors, according to the World Bank’s Rapid Damages and Needs Assessment.
Although Ukraine’s cities are still vulnerable to potential damage resulting from Russia’s aggression, there is a clear need for rebuilding critical infrastructure now to allow people to move around and help those that have been displaced return home.
Vitana Oliinyk, CEE Bankwatch Network / Ecoaction – “With the help of international investors and donors, Ukraine has a unique chance to build a safe, reliable, green and effective urban transport system independent from fossil fuels imported from Russia.”
Viktor Zagreba, head of NGO Vision Zero said – “The Ukrainian government should implement the National Transport Strategy’s Action Plan. There are 17 tasks targeting sustainable urban mobility, and there has been almost no progress on them at all.”
Daniel Popov, CEE Bankwatch Network – “Reconstruction funds should be used for a profound transformation of the Ukrainian transport system. Its main result should be zero emissions and public wellbeing as required by the EU strategies and legislation. The investments should support Ukraine’s and EU economies by choosing and promoting the highest standards for a green reconstruction. Such transformation with broad benefits has to be based on a decentralised electricity supply from renewable energy sources instead of big thermal power plants or nuclear.”
Viktoriia-Anna Oliinyk, National Coordinator – Ukraine, CEE Bankwatch Network
Viktor Zagreba, head of NGO Vision Zero
Vladlena Martsynkevych, Project leader, CEE Bankwatch Network
Notes for editors:
- On average, 50 per cent of Ukraine’s urban dwellers commute via public transport.
- Private cars are the biggest polluters in Ukrainian cities, responsible for as much as 84 per cent of air pollution.
- The latest missile shelling of cities across Ukraine on 10 October damaged 70 facilities and left a huge hole in Kyiv’s central road, where people were commuting to work. Further shelling continues to damage critical infrastructure.
- So far, only five cities have developed and adopted sustainable urban mobility plans (SUMPs) to raise the attractiveness, safety and security of walking and cycling.
- The Draft Ukraine Recovery Plan: Recovery and development of infrastructure presented in Lugano on 4-5 July 2022 does not sufficiently address electric urban transport, cycling and charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. The plan focuses on automobile traffic, supporting further dependency on fossil fuels and funnelling money into the road sector.
Never miss an update
We expose the risks of international public finance and bring critical updates from the ground – straight to your inbox.