The war in Ukraine will end in due time, but the general struggle between Europe and the world is just beginning. The large-scale impact of global climate change (accelerated within one generation) on the European continent will make certain territories uncomfortable and unsuitable for permanent residence, disrupt the integral functioning of economic complexes (dependent on water and temperature regimes), and undermine local and regional food security.

By 2043, global warming will reach 2°C from pre-industrial levels, and the Paris Agreements, which required to keep 1.5°C until 2050, failed in 2024. In 18 years, 1 billion earthlings will be in conditions of permanent heat stress (now – 69 million).

The implementation of the necessary measures to adaptively compensate for all future disruptions to normal life and the transition to a new regime of stable and competitive prosperity in Europe will require the involvement of absolutely all available resources, allies and territories.

At one time, Ukraine received crucial European support in the struggle for national survival, and in the coming post-war period, potentially, it will be ready to thank and lend a helping hand and become the so-called Geoclimatic Haven of Europe – providing its territorial and natural advantage to compensate for Europe's future losses due to climate change.

Climate transformations will radically disrupt and/or make impossible the production cycle of most complex existing industrial economic activities: energy, agro-industry complex, heavy industry, mechanical engineering, etc. All these complexes were designed on the map of natural and economic prosperity of the last century. In most cases, their spatial preservation in their usual location is problematic. The shortage of the key component – water – is either not compensated in principle, or it is economically costly and poorly scaled (desalination is not a panacea). The entire industrial structure of the European economy is under threat.

Europe depends on goods produced abroad in regions vulnerable to the effects of water scarcity (including agricultural products from so-called rain farming) – a huge threat whose potential is only gaining momentum. The current strategic importance of trading partner regions such as Southeast Asia and South America is growing for Europe. But the non-linear increase in climate impacts on local economic water resources (as well as an increase in the frequency of occurrence Natural disasters affecting production processes) makes the European economy even more vulnerable in the long run. A potential cascade of domestic production losses due to natural disasters, temperatures, and water shortages will be exacerbated by unpredictable supply shortages from regions of the world that are much more exposed to the extreme effects of a destabilized and changing climate. However, it is in Ukraine that the most valuable resource of the 21st century is located – the safe natural economic capital of the territories.

Since 2022, our analytical group from Kyiv (STRATEGIC GROUP SOFIA) has been developed a methodological approach for the comprehensive integration of long-term analysis of the impact of climate change into the overall spatial planning of the entire country. This approach makes it possible to implement the state development policy and private investment plans with a wide range of implemented preventive and strengthening measures (with a forecasting and planning horizon of 20-30 years) – ensuring the lowest further economic and social cost of climate change. In light of the imminent global climate impacts – We must attract the maximum amount of investment and human capital fleeing severe natural disasters and unsustainable climate regimes. Post-Soviet Ukraine, with its old infrastructure badly damaged, is the best option for this approach, the so-called blank slate. The preliminary theoretical development of the idea was implemented by us in the report STRUGGLE FOR THE GEOCLIMATIC HAVEN OF EUROPE - UKRAINE [link] (Dmitry Yermolaiev - the author of the project).


A) In the next few decades, the impact of climate change on Ukraine will be less dramatic than in other parts of the world. Ukraine has a strong climate position: according to a recent assessment, it is among the countries with the lowest exposure to global impact and low vulnerability of multisectoral development to the impacts of climate change. Large river basins have sufficient resources to artificially transfer water resources to the needs of inland areas with scarcity. The once historical burden in the form of the country's location in the center of the meeting of the West and the East now provides equidistant protection from existing and potential destructive extreme "marine" storm events, large river floods, hurricanes and tornadoes, etc.;

B) Against the backdrop of radical problems of the EU industrial sector with potential access to water, the restructured private-public water sector of Ukraine will be able to offer long-term stable conditions for intra-European relocations in the industrial sector and promote safe and close access to food production, provide sufficient space for the construction of large clusters of solar and wind generation;

C) Competent and adequate adaptation planning at the local and macro-regional levels can lay the foundation for the creation of a socio-economic system with a "low economic cost of climate change" during post-war restructuring, with a global supply of super-scarce natural and economic resources in the fields of agriculture, industry and energy. Stable access to water, mild temperatures, and few extreme devastating weather events will basic conditions that will form the country's investment passport and will be included in Europe's adaptation plans.


1) As economic systems are increasingly dependent on weather fluctuations, it is clear that the information and system infrastructure planning system for climate change adaptation master planning needs to be properly linked to decision support systems. The global food crisis predicted by the UN FAO requires maximum productivity and long-term water security in the territories of key breadbaskets. Within Ukraine, this requires planning and engineering development of a new infrastructure of the water supply system for temperature and water regimes, the system forecast of which is insufficient by the available state instruments (and organizationally and financially is in a neglected state);

2) Post-war reconstruction will be ensured by a large share of external funding. The main victim of limited bureaucratic consciousness and corruption will be time, which can be lost due to the incomplete implementation of infrastructure projects (their full adaptive potential). The speed of climate change and its economic consequences require efficiency, synchronous phasing and scientific adequacy – and elements of systemic corruption in the state can nullify the master planning of adaptation to climate change. Therefore, it is important for Ukraine to count on the independence of an organization at the first stages of adaptation construction, which will monitor and examine the recovery for compliance with adaptation plans, protect against fragmentation during the restructuring of the country's water system on a sustainable basis. Therefore, we need guarantees of independence and integrity;

3) Methodologically, such expert work (on plans, projects, policies of the state and private investors) should be carried out in the Ukrainian Climate Center, authorized by the subjects of restoration and investment. According to our plan, its formation should be the first important step in creating a national network of like-minded people who share and are ready to implement the approach of long-term adaptation to climate change as a complete redevelopment of the country and new environmental thinking. In the process of development, this should become the main platform of Ukrainian politics;

4) The independence of the Climate Center should be ensured through mechanisms for attracting finance from multilateral financial institutions and technical support for international engineering companies. The work of the Center itself will be based on the contractual involvement of national professional experts from the public and private sector with mandatory cooperation with the external scientific community. Any construction and infrastructure projects that receive external funding through the state must be verified by this independent Center for compliance with the General Plan for Adaptation Development of Ukraine for the post-war period. In this way, donors and investors will be able to receive an independent assessment of reconstruction projects, and their adaptive innovativeness will become a kind of safeguard against corruption arbitrariness. With such a mechanism of "independent climate expertise" and the correct capital intensity of the implemented measures, no attempt at corrupt reconstruction will be able to violate the integrity of Ukraine's long-term plan for adapting to climate change.

5) Appropriate "geoclimatic" research, monitoring, strategizing, and state-corporate long-term planning for infrastructure adaptation (primarily the country's water system and landscape restoration) will eliminate the basic risks of post-war development, preserve natural and artificial means of production for the European economy.

A long-obsolete and then ruined, war-damaged economy, infrastructure, and cities cannot be restored on old maps and shapes — this would be an unsustainable approach for the next generation and dangerous for the present. The country's previous design was based on the previous stable, moderate environmental model. Each Ukrainian region already has its own scenario for the development of heat and water balance, the conditions for the usual flora (including in rural areas) are radically changing economy), water resources "grow" beyond the regime of the old management system. What is needed is a new redesign of the country, not a blinded or imminent recovery of a vulnerable country to 2°C+ climate conditions (in 20 years).

Today, we are looking for like-minded people at home and abroad, and we need to jointly develop a mechanism for involving people and resources in our plan, the implementation of which should create future Ukraine as a powerful player in pan-European adaptation to climate change and green reindustrialization. The breadth of challenges does not leave the right to national egoism, but requires joint actions that will ensure the common good.

Yermolaiev Dmytro,

Head of the "Geoclimate Department" of the Strategic Group Sofia

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