The Seventh Year of Ecoaction

Our Victories in April 2023 — March 2024

On 13 March, Ecoaction turns 7 years old. Over the last year, we not only learned to live and work in the conditions of a full-scale war but also actively acted to create a beautiful future for our country and all Ukrainians. Undoubtedly, for Ecoaction, the green recovery of Ukraine became the key topic of the year — we have done a lot to achieve a concrete and tangible result in this matter. At the same time, we worked a lot on our permanent topics, i.e. combating climate change, energy transition, implementation of sustainable agricultural practices, energy efficiency and fair transformation of coal communities. We have achieved a lot, and we are ready to share our successes!
Olga Polunina

“The word or rather the phrase of the year is “green recovery.” Together with the Bankwatch network and other partners, Ecoaction held many meetings in Ukraine, Europe, the USA, participated in consultations on the preparation of the Ukraine Recovery Plan in various formats, and in the end, it brought results. Thanks to our advocacy, the adopted EU regulation 2024/792 establishes the principles of green recovery. At the same time, green recovery has also become mainstream at the local level, which has enabled us to support as many as 26 projects related to post-war recovery, climate change adaptation and sustainable energy solutions on the ground. I am sincerely proud of the Ecoaction team, which managed to achieve such excellent results!”

Olga Polunina

Ecoaction Executive Director

In 2023, we restarted our planning system and in February 2023, we set long-term (to 2050) and medium-term goals (to 2035), and in the short-term, we again entered an annual planning cycle. Thus, our organization defined long-term priorities and once again got back on the usual track of its activities in energy, climate and agriculture. Adjusted for the full-scale war, of course.

Last year, Ecoaction continued to work actively on the issue of green recovery of Ukraine, the work on which began as early as 2022. We started by formulating the principles of green recovery, which were supported by more than 50 international and Ukrainian NGOs. To integrate these principles into the strategic planning of the country’s post-war reconstruction, we held many meetings — in Ukraine, Europe, and the USA — and participated in consultations on the preparation of the Ukraine Recovery Plan, a document necessary for assisting Ukraine within the framework of the EU Ukraine Facility financial instrument.

During 2023, Ecoaction submitted proposals to the Ministry of Energy, the Ministry of Reconstruction, and the Ministry of Economy regarding the Ukraine Recovery Plan, the State Strategy for Regional Development, climate policy priorities, the National Energy and Climate Plan, etc. It is appreciated that many of the suggestions provided by us were taken into account.

At the international level, Ecoaction, together with Bankwatch, joined the advocacy of changes to the Ukraine Facility Regulation, which were reflected in the contribution of the European Parliament to the adopted Regulation.

“Increasing international support and financing of renewable energy projects in Ukrainian communities is a great victory to which the Energy Department contributed in 2023. From Warsaw to Washington, we held meetings, shared ideas, and recommendations, and ensured the participation of city mayors in negotiations with international partners. In short, we promoted the need to support green recovery at the local level.

At the national level, it is pleasing that our proposals regarding energy efficiency and the development of distributed generation were taken into account in the updated State Strategy for Regional Development, the Ukraine Recovery Plan and the adoption of net billing. The State Program for the Fair Transformation of Coal Regions will be developed with our participation from its onset.”

Kostyantyn Krynytskyi

Energy Department Head

In 2023, we successfully worked on advocating the greening of international energy aid to Ukrainian communities. At the beginning of the year, together with Greenpeace CEE and partners, we launched a “green” dispensary project in the village of Horenka. Since then, we have used this and similar examples in communication with the governments of partner countries, primarily Germany, the United States, and the EU. The Horenka project had an impact on several initiatives: it contributed to the allocation of EUR 2 million for green recovery projects in Ukraine from the German government and a grant of EUR 20 million to support the development of renewable energy in communities.

Also, last year, a major project for Ecoaction was cooperation with the town of Bucha, which suffered greatly during the full-scale invasion of the Kyiv region in 2022. Together with the research consultancy Berlin Economics, we launched a project on the analysis of energy-efficient reconstruction of the housing sector in Bucha. As a result, the city received an analytical report estimating the costs of green recovery in a better and more sustainable way. Ecoaction will also update the Bucha Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan and develop a feasibility study for the installation of a SPP on the roof of the local council.

We continued our work on research and implementation of energy-efficient practices in Ukraine. In 2023, together with the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES)) Ecoaction conducted a public survey, the purpose of which was to determine whether Ukrainians want to be more energy efficient and what prevents them from doing so.

For years, we have been advocating setting a date for phasing out coal in electric power no later than 2035, and at the end of 2021, it did happen. However, with the onset of the full-scale invasion, no one talked about it anymore. Throughout 2022 and half of 2023, we worked to ensure that 2035 remained in all strategic documents and visions of Ukraine’s recovery. Last June, during the Ukraine Recovery Conference in London, the Ministry of Energy confirmed that, despite the war, Ukraine will abandon coal by 2035.

At the same time, during the Second Annual Forum “Restoration of Mining Communities of Ukraine in Today’s Conditions,” co-organized by Ecoaction, the Ministry of Reconstruction confirmed the development of the State Targeted Program for Just Transformation (JT) until 2030. We have already joined its preparation together with mining communities. The determination of the common position of Ukrainian mining communities regarding the role of just transformation in post-war reconstruction, as well as the fact that JT and its principles should become an integral part of reconstruction was also very important. We have been actively working to advocate these ideas at the European Commission and government level.

“2023 has become another year of struggle against global challenges created for us by climate change and Russia’s war against Ukraine. We continued to actively report on the impact of the war and how, through fossil fuel exports, Russia not only finances its aggression but also dramatically worsens the climate crisis. Moreover, last year we managed to support local organizations that help to implement projects on “green recovery” and adaptation to climate change. Such enthusiasm for change is inspiring, so we will continue to support the development of communities.”

Vasylyna Belo

Climate Department Head

First of all, in 2023, we continued to work together with international partners on a unique study of the impact of war on the climate and environment. There were two iterations of the report, the most recent of which covered 18 months of the war. The official presentation of the research was held at the UN Climate Conference (COP28) in Dubai, where they were able to present it to various stakeholders.

We also continued active and intensive work with communities in various formats. The Ecoaction team initiated and conducted a series of trips as part of the “Recovery and energy security: examples of implemented projects and prospects for Ukraine” Green Infotour, in which representatives of 21 communities participated.

During the year, we also implemented a new support program and provided 14 sub-grants to selected public organizations for the implementation of climate-friendly projects on the ground. The following was implemented:

  • 4 local projects in different communities, aimed at their green recovery with adaptation to climate change, so that communities are resilient to climate impacts and can plan their future with more confidence
  • 10 projects on the green recovery of communities, according to which local organizations developed recommendations for taking into account the green component in restoration plans, prepared action plans for sustainable energy development and climate, implemented nature-oriented solutions and, together with local stakeholders, planned how to rebuild their community in a better way.

So that the experience of the mentioned projects can be used in other communities, recommendations will be prepared, and Ecoaction, together with local organizations, presented its visions regarding the consideration of adaptation to climate change in the post-war reconstruction of communities in the form of a position.

Just as in previous years, Ecoaction actively continued to advocate the need for an ambitious climate policy at the national and international levels, therefore, an important part of the work of Ecoaction’s climate department became participation in climate negotiations, namely at the Climate Conference in Bonn and within the framework of COP28. For the UN Climate Conference (COP28), Ecoaction prepared a Position on the Priorities of Climate Policy in Ukraine and the world, where it emphasized the need to abandon fossil fuels to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. Our findings were presented to Ukrainian stakeholders, including the Ukrainian Climate Network, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of the Environment. During COP28, representatives of Ecoaction also actively reported the role of Russia and the impact of the war on the climate.

“2023 was quite active and we can say that there are certain successes in the direction of sustainable agriculture in Ukraine, which is also related to European integration. Farmers and representatives of the agricultural sector talk a lot about the Green Deal and environmental standards, but at the moment, everyone has a very different understanding of how to implement it all. Therefore, we should be more active in telling them and helping to implement these ecological requirements, which can be beneficial both for the farmer and for the community and the environment.”

Mariia Bielkina

Agriculture Department Acting Head

Last year, we actively worked on education among farmers. We started with a social survey to find out their attitude towards ecological practices in agriculture. The survey showed a significant interest of farmers in the topic, so we launched a Careful Farming in European Style Facebook group, which now has almost 300 members. This group is created for farmers, advisors and representatives of the regional territorial communities and there we share information about eco practices.

Besides, in 2023, we organized an off-line meeting with advisors and representatives of higher education institutions and made a trip to the farm, where we plan to study the impact of a neighbouring enterprise on water resources and monitor the state of water.

In 2023, the theme of the impact of the war on Ukrainian soil and its subsequent restoration was dominant. This topic is in high demand, so Ecoaction has received many inquiries about it, and our research has been referenced many times. At the same time, the long-term impact of war on soils is a challenge because contamination migrates. Nature is capable of self-recovery, so it is important to constantly monitor the condition of the soil, especially during de-mining when it is possible to immediately fix pollution and systematically monitor it in the future. This is an important conclusion, which is why we continued the research in close cooperation with specialized scientists.

We also continued work on the implementation of the Nitrates Directive. Previously, within the limits of the River Basin Management Plans, vulnerable zones were identified throughout the country, which helps to understand in which direction to move. A strategic environmental assessment (SEA) is currently underway and we are closely monitoring this situation. For Ukraine to succeed in this matter, in Ecoaction we plan to increase the capacity of ministries and advisers to implement the Nitrate Directive.

“There were many successes this year, but the main one for me is our team. Over this year, more experienced communicators have grown into specialists, whose professionalism causes me sincere admiration. And new people poured into the team like pieces of a puzzle that were missing so much all this time. And I am happy to work with people to whom I can entrust any matter and be sure of a great result, who motivate, inspire and support each other. I hope we manage to inspire and support our large community of all who support Ecoaction in the same way.”

Oleksandra Khmarna

Communications Department Head

In 2023, we actively worked on restoring and strengthening ties with the Community and its involvement in our work. We had a super successful fund-raising campaign, during which we were able to talk about this project interestingly from different angles and help not only those military personnel who turned to us for help but also other military personnel in our Community. The campaign showed how Ecoaction knows how to unite people with common values to achieve a positive result.

Last year, we significantly strengthened our work with Ecoaction volunteers. Our volunteers participated in a wide variety of activities: from working on an interactive map of cases of potential damage to the environment, on which volunteers from different parts of the world work, to joint voluntary work to clear up debris in Hostomel.

We met a lot with the Community: there were meetings in Kyiv and online Speaking Club, training meetings for volunteers. This is what has been lost through the pandemic and the onset of full-scale war. Now everything is coming back, and we are incredibly happy to be able to see our Community again and work together on important topics.

Last year, we also developed and held an energy efficiency marathon to popularize effective methods that help make Ukrainian homes economical, warm and prepared for possible power outages. Unexpectedly, many people joined the marathon, who were ready not only to like, share and comment on materials but also to do something specific. This inspires us to continue to create interesting and extraordinary creative initiatives!

“The pandemic and the full-scale invasion have temporarily robbed us of the spirit of climate activism. In 2023, we finally managed to find it again. Personally, I found it in our people, because the Community is what helps me move on, it is what nourishes, helps me recover and find inspiration. I know, it sounds very solemn, but when, having spent half the night in the bomb-shelter and reading the news about new crimes of the occupiers, I receive a letter from the subscribers “How can we save the lake near our community” tears come to my eyes.”

Olha Tarasenko

Community Development Manager

2023 was the year of the Ecoaction Community. We worked not only to increase the Community but also to strengthen the ties between our members, Friends and volunteers. To this end, many events were held, both live in Kyiv and online for Community representatives who are in other cities and even countries.

A special day for us was the joint volunteer work for clearing rubble in Hostomel, which suffered large-scale destruction during the invasion of the Russian occupation forces in the Kyiv region in 2022. That day, with joint efforts, we helped the affected family get rid of 15 tons of construction waste and together loaded it into 3 trucks! Our members, Friends and volunteers enjoyed the experience so much that we will definitely be organizing joint volunteer work this year!

We also started testing a new format — English Speaking Club, where together with the Community we discuss topics related to environmental protection in English. Thus, last year we shared our impressions from the UN climate conference, studied the technical aspects of installing solar panels, shared the experience of conducting and participating in climate actions, etc. We plan to continue working with this format this year, so get involved!

The crowd-funding campaign for solar panels for the Armed Forces is the project we are most proud of! We worked on it all summer, enlisted the support of volunteers, and organized and held two fund-raising events in Kyiv. In total, more than 300 people supported us, donating UAH 93,000. We converted these funds into 7 portable solar panels, which are now helping our defenders at the front.

“One of my tasks is to find people for the volunteer team. However, it is not necessary to do this because people who care about the environment themselves come to us and offer their help. It truly fascinates and inspires me. I am proud that this year we managed to implement both online and off-line volunteer projects. Therefore, I see our team as a powerful network of people with common values, which extends far beyond the borders of Kyiv to the most remote corners of Ukraine and even abroad.”

Dariia Zhdanova

Volunteer Team Coordinator

This year, we received extremely strong support from our volunteer team. 94 volunteers joined our projects. These conscientious people from different parts of Ukraine and even from abroad chose to do eco-activities with our organization and volunteered almost 300 times.

We managed to work in depth and in different formats with very different topics. In particular, volunteer work on finding and recording cases of potential damage to the environment caused by Russian aggression continued. A team of 22 female volunteers collected more than 700 cases from open sources of information and twice gave interviews on this topic to foreign media.

Together with volunteers, Ecoaction planned and implemented a whole communication campaign about nature-oriented solutions: from an article on the website to a series of posts and other activities in Ecoaction’s social networks. 5 volunteers who met weekly online worked on this for more than half a year. Posts on social networks received 360,000 views, 22,000 reactions and 1,000 shares.

Volunteers actively helped promote Ecoaction’s messages about energy and the impact of fossil fuels on the environment and the world. They asked Ukrainians about their attitude to the idea of building 9 new nuclear units by the Westinghouse company. They also supported the international action against fossil fuels on the eve of the G7 summit in Japan and joined the Global Fight to End Fossil global initiative in the form of a photo campaign calling on the international community to abandon Russian fossil fuels, which are financing the Russian war in Ukraine.

At the end of the year, our volunteer team supported residents of the Poltava region who are fighting for the right to clean and safe water due to the pollution of the Psel River. For this, during the workshop on the mechanism of public appeals, they sent an appeal to the state authorities.

And thanks to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, we were able to meet in person and go on trips. Volunteers helped us during the Green Infotour for journalists and the public, in which we showed examples of energy-efficient objects in the Kyiv region. Our volunteer joined a data collection trip to the de-occupied Hetman National Nature Park, where he recorded on video how the nature of the park was affected by the actions of the occupiers. In November, the most active volunteers of Ecoaction spent a weekend in the Beremytske nature park studying and planning for 2024.

Financial Reporting


Transparency is the most important thing in the work of a public organization. Above, we honestly talked about the most important things we did during this year. And now we will show where we got the funds for this work and what we spent them on.


Income 2023 (EUR)


Costs 2023 (EUR)


The ratio between income and costs:

Our work would not be possible without those who support us with their financial contributions. We are grateful for the contribution of our donors and partners:

Austausch e.V., BUND, CAN, CEE Bankwatch, ECF (European Climate Foundation), EUROPEAN COMMISSION, Germanwatch, Greenpeace, Inforse, LUFTFORORENINGS- OCH KLIMAT- FORST, Land Matrix Initiative, Norges naturvernforbung, Olin GmbH, SSNC – Swedish Society for Nature Consevation, Stockholms universitet, EcoClub (GIZ project), International Renaissance Foundation.

Special thanks to the caring and active citizens who join the work of Ecoaction — to our Friends and members. Thank you for being with us!



Make a difference today! Support Ecoaction and contribute to positive change in the world.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment