Ukrainian Mayors Unite Efforts to Address Energy Efficienc
Ukraine's central authorities show virtually no interest in reducing gas consumption in the country, Cherkasy Mayor Serhiy Odarych has said.
"At present, the government policy is essentially a lobbyist for the use of natural gas for heating and generating electricity. Ukrainian cities are fighting with the central authorities for energy efficiency," Odarych said at a press conference at Interfax-Ukraine on Wednesday.
According to him, while introducing energy-saving technologies local authorities are facing either legal obstacles or red tape.
Cherkasy, for instance, replaced gas heating in one neighborhood for heating with waste wood, which reduced the heating costs from UAH 7 million a year spent on gas to UAH 3 million for the purchase and transportation of waste wood to Cherkasy region.
However, national ecological agencies do not give permission for replacement of gas with waste wood, since its burning produces slightly higher carbon dioxide emissions than the norms established for natural gas.
Odarych expressed the hope that the European Commission's 'Covenant of Mayors' project would allow local authorities to solve similar problems.
Head of the expert team of the 'Covenant of Mayors – East' Project Anatoliy Kopets recalled that the initiative was launched in 2008 in order to assist local authorities in improving energy efficiency, as well as address global energy and climate issues. The initiative currently has 3,700 members in European countries, including 27 in Ukraine.
Deputy Executive Director of Ukraine's Energy Efficient Cities Association Serhiy Kosharuk said that Cherkasy will host the annual conference entitled "National Security of Ukraine through Covenant of Mayors" on May 15-16.
First Deputy Head of Kyiv City State Administration (KCSA) Oleksandr Mazurchak said that Kyiv joined the Covenant of Mayors in November 2011.