Climate Change Adaptation: The Experience of Ukrainian Cities

Photo: Pixabay

Experience of Zhytomyr

To achieve its climate goal, Zhytomyr developed a 10-year sustainable energy development plan. In essence, it was necessary to determine how the city itself will be able to meet the obligations it assumes. When the plan was prepared, it showed that its implementation would cost about EUR 104 million. That amount is impracticable, given the city’s development budget is a mere UAH 70 million (about EUR 2 million). Nevertheless, the city decided to try and launch the process.

We started moving. When we did, it turned out that when you know where you’re going, opportunities appear, as well as people who are ready to help you in that, and money to implement the plan,” says Tetyana Zyatikova, Head of Department of Infrastructure Projects, Energy Efficiency and Promotions of the Zhytomyr City Council.

At first, they undertook small-scale projects, such as heat insulation in kindergartens and schools. These were followed by larger ones when money from international funds began to come to the city. That expanded opportunities, but at the same time threw up new challenges. For example, one of the requirements of the Swiss partner-donor was to introduce the European Energy Award — a system for city energy policy management that the city successfully obtained.

Photo:Olha Salipa

“Talking to the Heads of Departments is not enough. We tried to assess these climate risks for the city by talking to people who work in the city, those who are involved in water supply and various environmental issues, have experience and understand the matters of climate and environmental protection.”

Zhytomyr residents suspected that water would be a big problem for the city, as the city draws its water from a single river, which is now very shallow. Zyatikova says that this became very clear when there was no winter snow and there was a period without rain — when it started raining, the river did not fill. Other evidence included the disappearance of water in wells at the city outskirts and the nearby villages. It just disappeared.

Photo: Olha Salipa

Experience of Khmelnytsky

Khmelnytsky expects that by the end of 2020 the conditions of the Covenant of Mayors will be met and the amount of CO2 emissions in the city will be reduced by 20 percent. That is 210,000 tons, half of which is produced by the Khmelnytsky landfill for solid waste.

Photo: Olha Salipa
Photo: Olha Salipa


The EU4Climate initiative is funded by the European Union and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme. It supports countries in implementing the Paris Climate Agreement and improving climate policies and legislation. Its ambition is to limit the effects of climate and make citizens more resilient to them. It will assist the EaP countries to integrate the low-emissions and climate resilience objectives into development policies and plans, to improve and consolidate climate policies and legislative alignment.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
UNDP Ukraine

UNDP Ukraine

We partner with people at all levels of society to drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves quality of life for everyone.