On September 1, 2016, the Energy Community Secretariat released its Annual Implementation Report for 2015-2016. Energy Community obligations include some environmental issues as well: environmental impact assessment (EIA), Sulphur in fuels, large combustion plants and birds protection.

Latest annual report features bearish progress –basically lack of any – by Ukraine in implementing environmental obligations. Two pending non-compliance cases in relation to Ukraine (Sulphur in fuels and EIA) are of particular concern. The case on EIA directive was just opened on September 1 this year, but the Sulphur in fuels directive case has been up in the air since 2013. All attempts to deal with that ended with draft legal acts so far.

The Secretariat said that two dispute settlement cases in relation to Ukraine ‘make it [Ukraine] one of the worst performers in the Energy Community in this field’. 

The report acknowledges submission of its National Emission Reduction Plan to the Secretariat by Ukraine. Ukrainian Government promised to approve the plan by the end of last year, yet its status remains unclear. 

Birds protection is next in a row. Ukrainian authorities need to speed up their efforts significantly for Ukraine to become a leader, not an outsider in the implementation process.