Russia’s war has caused unprecedented damage to the Ukrainian environment as well as on a global scale. Ruslan Strilets, Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine, emphasized this in his speech given to the members of the European Parliament Committee on the Environment, Public Health, and Food Safety.
"In Ukraine, we have already recorded more than 2,900 cases of environmental damage. It is estimated at €56.7 billion. By starting this war, Russia has set irreparable processes in motion," said Ruslan Strilets.
According to the minister, the consequences will be felt by people all over the world:
- Russia’s armed aggression has caused 150 million additional greenhouse gas emissions. Every day of war increases this figure;
- A third of Ukraine’s land is mined. 174,000 square kilometers is not just a number but an area whose potential pollution is harmful to ecosystems;
- Since February 2022, Russia has fired more than 10,000 missiles and suicide drones at Ukraine. They exploded in Ukraine, but the chemicals were spread over thousands of kilometers. Other countries are also suffering;
- Fighting is currently taking place over some 30,000 square kilometers of Ukrainian forest. The fires are a double blow to the climate system — we are facing a loss of the forests’ capacity to absorb CO2;
- Ukrainian waters are being polluted. As a result, there is a risk of a worsening food crisis.
"New challenges call for decisive action and solutions. We already have such a solution, which is the Peace Formula by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi. This is a 10-point global initiative for sustainable, comprehensive, and lasting peace, as well as for preventing the recurrence of crimes and terrorist attacks at any time, on any continent, and regardless of who decides to become the aggressor," the Minister stressed.
Ruslan Strilets noted that only by joining forces could justice be restored.
"During the International Forum ‘United for Justice, United for Nature’ in October, we presented a draft environmental declaration. This initiative is reflected in the Global Platform announced by Volodymyr Zelenskyy during COP27. We have already started international consultations on the accession of countries to the document and invite international partners to support Ukraine and thus jointly ensure global security," the Minister said.