On April 18, 2018, the Committee on  Environmental Policy, Natural Resources and Elimination of Consequences of Chornobyl Disaster hosted a round table “Environmental Aspects of Hydro Energy Development in Ukraine”. The round table served as a discussion point for exchange of thoughts between MPs, representatives of energy sectors, Ministry of Environment, environmental NGOs, local communities and scientists.

Vasyl Poluyko, the Vice-Minister for Environmental Protection, highlighted that the Program for Development of Hydro Energy till 2025 had not been subject to transboundary consultations with Moldova (nor with civil society), no strategic environmental assessment had been carried out, no alternatives had been discussed. This led, in his opinion, to an “insufficiently grounded management decision leading to accumulating of various problems on national and international levels”.

The environmental activists attending the round table described a number of challenges related to that program: (1) non-compliance with international and EU-association related commitments by Ukraine, (2) no account taken of environmental considerations, (3) lack of respect towards democratic mechanisms for consultations, (4) social risks.

In their turn, the representatives of hydro energy sector appealed to the role of hydro energy in the energy balance of Ukraine. They insisted they act exclusively in compliance with programs and limits already established, while recognize concerns by the public over large projects.

Based on the outcomes of the round table the parliamentary committee is preparing a complex paper with recommendations for all stakeholders.