The experts of the Environmental Group of the Reanimation Package of Reforms call on the MPs not to hamper the introduction of the European environmental standards in Ukraine and to endorse the resolution of the profile committee on finalization of the second basic environmental draft law “On environmental impact assessment” to be considered by the Parliament on January 19.
On January 17, the Verkhovna Rada rejected the first draft law from this package “On strategic environmental assessment” adopted as a whole on October 4, 2016, yet vetoed by the President and returned to the parliament with his proposals. The draft law “On strategic environmental assessment” lacked 17 votes of MPs who had earlier endorsed it. It is a pity that the factions which had publicly assumed coalition commitments to introduce the European environmental assessment standards in Ukraine, in particular, the People’s Front, the Samopomich, and the Batkivshchyna, did not vote for this draft law.
The experts stress that the failed voting for sending the second draft law “On environmental impact assessment” for finalization to the committee would mean at least one-year delay in the introduction of the environmental reform.
We would like to remind you that the European environmental assessment standards provide for clear-cut and transparent procedures of environmental assessment in the course of production planning and governmental decision-making on sustainable development of territories with the participation of the public and consideration of current and potential environmental problems including those connected with public health.
Moreover, rejection of the draft law will mean that Ukraine fails to fulfill its international commitments under the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. In this case the Energy Community will impose sanctions on Ukraine, as it directly warns in its latest statement.
According to the World Health Organization, five people die in Ukraine every 15 minutes due to poor environmental conditions, while seven people are registered as terminally ill due to the pollution of drinking water, soil, and air.
Therefore, the experts of the Environmental Group of the Reanimation Package of Reforms are convinced that the MPs should be more concerned with overcoming these environmental threats, than with the interests of businesses which are against the introduction of clear European rules of environmental protection in our country.