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‘Finance, Technology And Close Co-Operation With The EU Will Drive The Transition To Net Zero’

Yesterday, Maxim Timchenko, DTEK CEO, spoke at Ukraine’s first-ever forum at a COP meeting, alongside senior Ukrainian ministers and other business leaders. The event, hosted by Chatham House, examined how Ukraine aims to meet the sustainability goals and the country’s role in supporting the drive to net-zero across the whole of Europe by 2050.

Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Olha Stefanishyna, opened the event, saying, “The generational challenge we’re facing is how we change the way our economies and societies are structured so our children and grandchildren have a sustainable environment in which to live and, importantly, thrive. We’re beyond talking about the ‘why’ It’s now time to addresses the fine detail of the ‘how’. That’s why it’s so important we have leaders from Ukraine’s key business sectors here, talking about their plans to achieve the ambitious targets our Government is setting to combat climate change.” 

(Photo : John MacDougall – Pool/Getty Images)

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DTEK CEO Maxim Timchenko said, “The time will come, very soon, when industrial companies will approach those of us who are developing renewable energy and start signing long-term contracts. This will provide the basis for financing projects, which is an essential part of the transition to renewable energy. And we need support and finance from both the Ukrainian government institutions and foreign investors. If we bring these joint efforts into the process, we can then be confident that we can achieve our ambitious goals. 

“Innovation and technology would also play crucial roles in developing the decarbonization agenda,” Mr. Timchenko continued. “For us, that means both the development of renewable capacity and focusing energy storage infrastructures. In 2021, for example, we built the first industrial energy storage capacity in Ukraine.”

The DTEK CEO further highlighted the corporation’s application of technologies to reduce the use of coal. “At DTEK, we have a clear vision and strategy regarding the phase-out of coal. We are the first company to join the Powering Past Coal Alliance and I believe this is the first step.”

He also pointed out the need for a clear strategy from the Ukrainian government to support this development since phasing out coal should be part of the process of joint responsibility in Ukraine, especially in view of the country’s energy security.

“We should not be afraid of CBAM”

Responding to questions about integration with EU standards, Mr. Timchenko said, “Since Ukraine is preparing to be part of the European energy market, we shouldn’t be afraid of CBAM or any other things. We can only fully integrate with Europe when we are paid a proper carbon price and be competitive in the European economy. Therefore, carbon pricing is unavoidable in Ukraine. 

“We should implement Emission Trading Systems, as has already been agreed. But we need some transition. We cannot jump immediately from €1 to €60 per tonne. And this should be respected from the European side as well.”

According to Mr. Timchenko, one of the most strategic moves is integrating Ukraine’s energy system into ENTSO-E, not only for the industry but also for the whole country. “I hope that the government will do whatever is necessary to be a part of ENTSO-E by 2023.”

Mr. Timchenko concluded, “Two years ago, we announced that DTEK will achieve carbon neutrality by 2040. And in January 2020, we were the first to bring the Green Deal topic to our government’s agenda during a roundtable discussion at WEF. I am confident Ukraine can achieve its goals by the combined efforts of the government, society, and business.

The other speakers on the Chatham House panel discussion were: Iryna Stavchuk, Deputy Minister for Environmental Protection and Natural Resources; Dmytro Los, Chairman of the Board of UBTA; Oleksandr Dombrovskyi, Vice President of MHP; and Antony Froggatt, Senior Research Fellow, and Deputy Director, Chatham House Environment and Society Programme.

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