Consequences of Ukraine Crisis for Sustainability & Environment

A rapeseed field under a blue skyClick to enlarge
Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine represents a turning point.
Source: Pixabay

Russia's war against Ukraine represents a turn of times in international policy. It has shaken the security architecture in Europe to its foundations. In this respect, we are facing fundamental questions for many policy areas, including sustainability and environmental policy.

Humanity has been facing a global crisis every few years for the last 20 years: 9/11, Iraq war, food and financial crisis, Corona, to name a few, and now the war in Ukraine. Further, sustainability policies have not been sufficiently successful and existing forms of international cooperation have not made the necessary progress, despite some successes such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement on climate change.

One important challenge, among others, is to set up and further develop societal systems such as food and energy supply or the health care system in such a way that they are sufficiently robust in case of further crises that are likely to come, so that the necessary societal services are provided despite the crisis (criterion of resilience).

To shed more light on the interrelationships of these developments, a task force on the consequences of the war in Ukraine for sustainability and environmental policy was established at the German Environment Agency in early summer 2022. Through the Task Force, the German Environment Agency aims to make rapid policy recommendations to collectively overcome the crisis and emerge stronger and more resilient.

The task force has developed the following position papers on individual aspects of environmental and sustainability policy. In particular, they highlight solutions with regard to dealing with the consequences of the war in Ukraine in the short term, while at the same time promoting the necessary socio-ecological transformation.

Furthermore, the Task Force, in cooperation with TES Academy organized the event series "The relevance of the war in Ukraine for transformation towards sustainability“.

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