The European Union, Ukraine together with 10 other bilateral and international donors launched the Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and environmental partnership in Stockholm on Thursday, according to Xinhua.

    "Reducing energy demand by investing in energy enhancing measures is a very good economic, climate and environmental policy as well as very good security policy. It is a very good and concrete step towards a success of the Cop 15 climate meeting in Copenhagen," Gunnila Carlsson, Minister for International Development Cooperation of Sweden which holds the current EU Presidency, said at a press conference.

    "Today we expect a commitment to the support fund of the partnership at 100 million Euro from 12 different donors including Ukraine and the EU commission," said Carlsson.

    The fund will be used for concrete projects such as district heating and water supply systems, first in Ukraine beginning 2010.

    European Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner said that EU will support energy efficiency projects with an investment of 70 million Euro, with 10 million Euro for 2010, and the same amount for each year afterwards.

    This will support Ukraine to go beyond 20 percent reduction of green house gas emission after 2020, she said.

    Ukraine`s Deputy Prime Minister Hryhoriy Nemyria said this is a very important exercise across three sectors, energy efficiency, climate and competitiveness.

    "For example, housing sector in Ukraine consumes more than 30 percent of energy used in the country or around 40 percent of heat energy, this initiative aims at a very tangible way to modernize housing sector utilities and water supply system. It will be a success story not only for Ukraine but also for the whole region," said Nemyria.

    Nemyria said there will be great potential for Ukraine to improve energy efficiency and reduce emission because Ukraine has old heavy industrial area and old houses needing to be attended.

    "This is the inception of the project, implementation will begin in 2010 and we will try to make it a success so we will have the next phase," the Ukraine deputy prime minister added.