Dario Nardella, Mayor of Florence and President of Eurocities and Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament , Source: Alain Rolland / European Union 2022

Generators of hope – European cities to bring the power back to Ukraine

Generators of hope – European cities to bring the power back to Ukraine

Local authorities are rallying through Eurocities to send power generators to the devastated country for the winter

Yesterday, during a joint press conference in Strasbourg, Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament, and Dario Nardella, President of Eurocities, announced the launch of the “Generators of hope” campaign to bring a massive supply of power generators to Ukraine.

The campaign wants to use the network of European cities to provide city-to-city aid before temperatures drop too much.

Temperatures in Ukraine are plummeting below zero

Following the massive and consecutive drone strikes by Russia on civilian infrastructure, more than 30% of Ukraine’s power stations have been damaged. This has left nearly 10 million Ukrainians without electricity.

The country has already seen blackouts, paralysing key facilities like water and central heating - the mainstay of household heating.

Moreover, as winter has already hit Ukraine, with temperatures plummeting below zero in many parts of the country. With water supplies attacked and heating developing into a major concern, the government has already issued evacuation orders for certain parts of the country.

According to a press statement, the Ukrainian government has signalled the need for high-voltage electrical equipment, especially transformers, and large-capacity generators as the top priority to patch up the damaged energy system.

Generators of hope

Eurocities is an organisation dedicated to increasing the quality of life in cities, in terms of mobility, inclusivity, good public services and a healthy environment. Currently, the organisation has a network of more than 200 larger European cities, together representing around 130 million people across 38 countries.

During the press conference Dario Nardella, President of Eurocities and Mayor of Florence explained that since the start of the war, the organisation has rallied behind their Ukrainian counterparts in every way possible. On 19 August, the organisation signed a memorandum of understanding in Kyiv to support the sustainable reconstruction of the country.

Infrastructure and cold aid, he pointed out, fall under that memorandum and the organisation will try to coordinate with partners and organisations, like the EU parliament’s president to send relief as quickly as possible.

Nardella continued by saying that next week during the annual Eurocities Cooperation Platform in Vienna, the organisation will present the initiative to representatives of over 80 participating cities. Florence’s Mayor underlined the realities of the situation: “We must act immediately. Winter is upon us, there is no electricity and gas and there is no time to waste.”

According to a press statement, Eurocities will use the EU Civil Protection Mechanism to connect cities via national authorities. This will provide the logistical means to transport the generators from cities to one of three EU hubs for Ukraine.



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