On the 12th of October Chapter Zero Ukraine & Caucasus together with Chapter Zero Poland organised a discussion panel “Climate governance and war: how the CGI principles can support corporates to overcome the regional economic and energy crisis”. The event was held in frames of the Global Summit 2022: Call to Action organised by the Climate Governance Initiative.
Tymofiy Mylovanov, President of Kyiv School of Economics (KSE), Associate Professor of the Department of Economics at University of Pittsburgh, opened the discussion stating that climate has to be a second priority in the war time in Ukraine, while Nataliia Shapoval, Chairman of KSE Institute, stated that the damages from Russian invasion of Ukraine amount to 130 billion US dollars. Forest fires, caused by Russians, which covered up to 100 hectares, released approx. 1.7 million tons of hazardous substances into the soil and atmosphere.
Lucyna Stąńczak Wuczyńska, Chair of BNP Paribas Bank Polska, spoke about how the decarbonization strategies of Poland will be affected by the stop of gas supply by Russia and business responsibility in these circumstances. Poland has made a strategic decision to stop buying Russian coal, even having dependence from coal in residential housing. Now the needs of housing heating are 10 million tons of coal. But Poland goes in line with a recent recommendation and agreement between EU and its members related to the reduction of the consumption of electricity by 10% and even 15 % and reduction of gas consumption. Lucyna mentioned that for some Southern and Western European countries’ energy transition will be challenging due to historical ties. Political decisions matter a lot in energy transition and security.
According to Maria Luisa Cicognani, Chairperson of Mobius Investment Trust, Non-Executive Chairperson of Arafa Holding, the management should drive the board to incorporate climate thinking in the decision-making in the banking sector. At the example of the biggest bank of Georgia, Maria Luisa highlighted that the key thing for the bank is when clients are willing to negotiate and discuss the risks they could face due to climate change and make steps – make plan together with the bank and review the target they should be achieving. If the companies do not move to environmental standards, the bank will not invest.
Oleksii Riabchyn, Advisor to the CEO of Naftogaz of Ukraine on low-carbon businesses, spoke about the process of going green in Ukraine, its strong ambitions towards this goal before the war and current situation. Ukrainian took strong commitments on climate and decarbonization before the full-scale invasion of russia by adopting ambitious NDC’s by 2030. Now the objectives are splitted on two basic groups: emergency green needs and long-term green recovery goals. Currently, Naftogaz is increasing the accuracy of our emissions disclosure and working on more sustainable policy to increase its ESG ratings.
Hayk Shekyan, Founder and CEO of the Shtigen Group of companies, considers that business should turn to people, liberalising the energy market. In this way, giving people better access to resources and at the same time making investments better and greener.
There has to be a radical shift of mentality of business and thus immediate climate crisis response by the boards when long term decisions are made in line with the decarbonisation agenda and movement towards net-zero.
For those who could not join the event, we share it here via link