President Zelensky at COP26: Crimea and Donbas, 'two eco-bombs' in center of Europe

Canan Sarıtepe
02 November 2021, 11:03
Фото: Офіс Президента
Canan Sarıtepe
02 November 2021, 11:03

Ukrainian President says occupied Crimea and Donbas fell into the center of Europe as two eco-bombs, the Crimean peninsula with its unique flora and fauna has become a naval base of the Russian Federation.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky's remarks came during his speech at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow.

Zelensky reminded that Ukraine had been one of the first in Europe to ratify the Paris Agreement and ranked 4th among 45 parties to the UN Framework Convention in terms of emission reduction.

"Our goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 65% by 2030 and achieve climate neutrality by 2060," he stressed.

Security guarantees given to Ukraine were never fulfilled

President Zelensky noted that in 1994 Ukraine received security guarantees [under the Budapest Memorandum] that were not fulfilled, and the planet received "two eco-bombs in the center of Europe": the occupied Crimea and part of Donbas.

"The Crimean peninsula with its unique flora and fauna has become a naval base of the Russian Federation. Besides, in parts of Donbas, there are flooding of mines, soil degradation, lack of drinking water," said the President.

A territory is not just a market, but flora and fauna habitat

"This is a common threat to the whole world. In our time, disaster, no matter where it happens, affects everyone," he added.

According to him, the Chornobyl tragedy proved this, since it affected everyone, not just Ukraine. But the catastrophe has also shown that human intervention contibutes restoring environment, as Chornobyl is recovering faster than expected.

"Stopping the process of global warming is possible only by changing global thinking and priorities of world politics. A territory should be considered not just as market but a home for thousands of flora and fauna species," Zelensky noted.

The 26th UN Climate Change Conference 

The UN climate summit began in Glasgow, Scotland (UK), on October 31 and will last until November 12.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that Ukraine supports a number of initiatives within the conference, including Declaration on Forest and Land Use.

The Head of State noted that neither the Convention on stabilizing the concentration of greenhouse gases nor the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement solves the problem. Because these documents do not keep up with the challenges of today.

The President of Ukraine urged to implement the agreements within the UN Climate Change Conference. He said participants of the event should do so "quickly and without delay, jointly and without exceptions".