The TEAD programme (Trainings for (women) Energy Auditors & Technical Designers in Ukraine) officially started on February 1st, 2022. The TEAD programme was designed to support the implementation of Ukraine’s decision for full integration into the European energy framework, principles and practices and implementation of all commitments underlined in the EU- Ukraine Association Agreement and the Energy Community Treaty.
Start-up meeting in Kyiv
Inefficient use of energy, combined with highly subsidized energy prices and ongoing political challenges, called for an urgent and steady reform within the sector. There was a definite need to improve energy efficiency and enforcing the country’s energy policy.
TEAD, therefore, will support the Energy Strategy of Ukraine through facilitation of the country’s efforts to increase technical capacities for performing energy audits, as well as better (energy efficient) technical designs. All implemented with a gender lens. The program took off with a start-up team meeting in Kyiv in early February, followed by meetings with Ukrainian stakeholders and beneficiaries.
Russian invasion of Ukraine
But then everything changed on February 24, when Russia invaded Ukraine. The full-scale invasion causes serious risks to the lives and health of people in Ukraine, bringing severe environmental health risks, while also affecting Ukraine’s biodiversity, ecosystems and natural resources. The war also shows the enormous importance of energy efficiency and energy independence as a way to support democracy processes and democratic tools in Ukraine.
Addressing gendered realities of the war
When involving and empowering women through this program addressing the gendered realities of the war is extremely important. The war has led to massive, gendered humanitarian needs. Representatives of the Ukrainian women’s organisations and energy networks might have become refugees living in Moldova, Georgia, Germany, Netherlands, Poland and Romania or are living somewhere else as internally displaced persons (IDPs) within Ukraine. Women also often act as first responders, providing humanitarian assistance during the war and are often overrepresented in unpaid work and as caretaker for their families. As families flee and/or husbands fight in the frontlines, women deal with a lack of income and basic goods (heating, medicines and other items that become scarce in occupied territories). So it might take a lot more effort to get women motivated to become involved in the work.
Russia’s invasion made one thing clear; it emphasised the double urgency to transform Europe’s and Ukraine’s energy system: ending the EU’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels, which are used as an economic and political weapon and cost European taxpayers nearly €100 billion per year, and at the same time tackling energy inefficiency and the climate crisis.