The ongoing war in Ukraine has caused 36 billion euros in environmental damage, the Ukrainian government estimates.
In a hearing at the European Union Parliament in Stasbourg, France, Ukraine’s environment minister Ruslan Strilets said the cost of war-related air pollution is close to 25 billion euros, while the cost of damage to soil is more than 11 billion euros.
Ukraine has recorded 2,000 incidents of environmental damage since the invasion began in February, and 20 percent of the country’s protected areas remain at risk of being destroyed. Strilets said the war has produced 31 million metric tons of carbon emissions thus far, more than the yearly output of New Zealand, Reuters reports.
In Kharkiv, a Russian-held city recently liberated by Ukrainian forces, 7,000 residential buildings have been destroyed, producing 350,000 cubic meters of demolition waste, the environment ministry said in a statement. Strilets told the EU Parliament that the postwar reconstruction effort could generate 79 million metric tons of greenhouse gases, more than the annual emissions of Greece.