We talk a lot about responsibility. Throughout social networks, in newspapers and on TV screens, pseudo-experts tirelessly discuss the deterioration of the environmental situation and merely blather this question.
Unfortunately, the sustainable development goals have not yet developed a system of mutually agreed management measures which is aimed at achieving an optimal balance between three components of development such as economic, social and environmental.
For many years in Ukraine, resource-intensive and energy-intensive industries and technologies dominated, commodity orientation of exports and excessive concentration of production. As a result, a management structure has emerged in the industrial regions, which is inefficient and environmentally hazardous.
If we conditionally distribute all this amount of hazardous substances thrown into the atmosphere through the territory of Mariupol, we will get a toxic layer that is more than half a meter thick. Moreover, the majority of enterprises did not reduce last year but increased the number of emissions.
Physicians and environmentalists make an unequivocal conclusion: between the level of air pollution and mortality - a direct dependence. Therefore, I believe that today our primary task is to find ways to improve the environmental situation in the city and surrounding areas, as well as other technologically loaded regions of Ukraine.
Ukraine, as a state, has a valuable economic tool of environmental policy - the "polluter pays." According to this principle, the costs associated with measures to prevent, control and reduce emissions are covered by the pollutant. Those countries that follow this policy have largely overcome the problems that we are now talking about.
It was for the successful implementation of this program, as well as for improving public access to information that the Protocol of Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers (PRTRs) was adopted in the framework of the Fifth Ministerial Conference "Environment for Europe," held in Kiev on May 21-23, 2003. February 3 last year, the Verkhovna Rada ratified the Protocol, and it became the law of Ukraine.
According to the Protocol, Ukraine must create and maintain a unified electronic access system to information on permits, reports, materials of environmental audits, access to which will be available, in particular, to the public and authorities.
It should be understood that the pollutant release and transfer registers can provide tangible benefits to the industry. First of all, thanks to the reduction of costs due to the improvement of the waste management system. Reducing emissions is a direct way to saving taxes on pollution of nature and reducing the cost of production. This is access to the latest technologies and international financial resources; it is an investment attraction and increased competitiveness in world markets.
Does this Protocol necessary for the inhabitants of industrial regions?
Without a doubt! It is worth noting that the pollutant release and transfer registers create a powerful mechanism for increasing corporate accountability, reducing pollution and promoting sustainable development of the community. Their introduction will help reduce the burden on the environment and reduce the costs of people to treat illnesses associated with its impact.
Also, by creating accessible environmental information systems for the public, we are building a mechanism that promotes the realization of the right of every person of present and future generations to live in a favorable environment for his health and well-being. The PRTR will provide broad public support for the implementation of local and state environmental programs.
Finally, the implementation of the Protocol will facilitate Ukraine's implementation of the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention). Moreover, enhancing Ukraine's international standing, engaging Ukraine in international environmental projects and further development of mutual understanding and good-neighborly relations between Ukraine and the member states of the European Union.