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Current situation

What is Ethiopiaʼs pathway to limit global warming to 1.5°C?

Emissions profile

Ethiopia’s emissions were at 147 MtCO₂e/yr in 2013 and are expected to grow to over 400 MtCO₂e/yr by 2030 in a business as usual scenario.7

Agriculture is a key emitting sector, accounting for over 50% of emissions in 2013, followed by energy (25%) and LULUCF (17%). Emissions in the agriculture sector are mostly from livestock – estimates put animal head count at over 150 million including cattle, sheep, goats and others. Agriculture is the main contributor to methane and nitrous oxide emissions, with the latter mostly coming from crop cultivation.3,7

The energy sector is the second most emitting sector, with emissions mainly driven by the burning of biomass for energy use such as household cooking.

LULUCF emissions account for 17% of total GHG emissions in 2013, and have mostly been from conversion of forested land for agricultural use and wood fuel consumption. Under business as usual, the key emitting sectors in 2030 are projected to be energy and livestock, contributing 91% of GHG emissions.7

1 Climate Action Tracker. Ethiopia | Climate Action Target Update Tracker. (2020).

2 GERD Coordination Office. Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). (2020).

3 Government of Ethiopia. Climate-Resilient Green Economy Strategy. (2011).

4 Government of Ethiopia. Ethiopia’s Climate Resilient Green Economy National Adaptation Plan. (2019).

5 IEA. Ethiopia: Key Energy Statistics. (2018).

6 Climate Action Tracker. Ethiopia | Climate Action Target Update Tracker. (2020).

7 Government of Ethiopia. Summary of Ethiopia’s Updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC). (2020).

8 Government of Ethiopia. The Second Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP II) Midterm Review Report. (2018).

9 Government of Ethiopia. Draft National Energy Policy (March 2021). (Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy, 2021).

10 World Nuclear News. Ethiopia, Russia extend cooperation in nuclear energy. Nuclear Policies. (2019).

11 Government of Ethiopia. Ethiopia 2030: The Pathway to Prosperity Ten Years Perspective Development Plan (2021-2030). (2020).

12 Government of Ethiopia. Growth and Transformation Plan II (GTP II). (2016).

13 National Green Development. Stats – National Green Development. (2021).

14 Beyene, G. E., Kumie, A., Edwards, R. & Troncoso, K. Opportunities for transition to clean household energy in Ethiopia Application of the WHO Household Energy Assessment Rapid Tool (HEART). (2018).

15 N Scott, T Jones & S Batchelor. Ethiopia; Cooking transitions: An analysis of Multi-Tier Framework Data for insights into transitions to modern energy cooking. (2020).

16 Ethiopian Electric Power. Power Generation. (2020).

17 Government of Ethiopia. Ethiopia’s Climate Resilient Green Economy National Adaptation Plan. (2019).

18 IEA. Ethiopia coal demand and production by scenario, 2010-2040. (2020).

19 IPCC. Climate Change 2007: Mitigation of Climate Change. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. (2007).

20 Global Energy Monitor. Global Coal Plant Tracker Database (July). Global Energy Monitor. (2020).

21 While global cost-effective pathways assessed by the IPCC Special Report 1.5°C provide useful guidance for an upper-limit of emissions trajectories for developed countries, they underestimate the feasible space for such countries to reach net zero earlier. The current generation of models tend to depend strongly on land-use sinks outside of currently developed countries and include fossil fuel use well beyond the time at which these could be phased out, compared to what is understood from bottom-up approaches. The scientific teams which provide these global pathways constantly improve the technologies represented in their models – and novel CDR technologies are now being included in new studies focused on deep mitigation scenarios meeting the Paris Agreement. A wide assessment database of these new scenarios is not yet available; thus, we rely on available scenarios which focus particularly on BECCS as a net-negative emission technology. Accordingly, we do not yet consider land-sector emissions (LULUCF) and other CDR approaches which developed countries will need to implement in order to counterbalance their remaining emissions and reach net zero GHG are not considered here due to data availability.

22 NDC indicates that forestry covers land and managed soils.

23 For example, it is difficult to prepare Injera, Ethiopia’s staple on a gas or electric cooker.

24 A review of GTPII is still underway. This will shed light on the current situation after the end of the GTP II in 2020 and provide a basis for GTPIII or a successor framework.

Ethiopiaʼs current GHG emissions


Displayed values

By sector

  • Fugitive emissions
  • Other
  • Transport
  • Industry (energy use)
  • Buildings
  • Power
  • Agriculture
  • Waste
  • Industry (processes)
Energy (25%)0

By gas

  • CH₄
  • CO₂
  • N₂O
  • Other

Sectors by gas

Industry (processes)

Energy system

Biomass makes up a large share of Ethiopia’s energy mix, accounting for nearly 90% of generation.5 Ethiopia’s NDC identifies this as a main concern in its efforts towards sustainable energy for all.5 There is relatively low access to clean and sustainable energy with 2018 data showing that access rates were at 57% in 2017 having risen from 54.25% in 2015.8 Ethiopia’s hydro potential remains among the highest in Africa with a planned 13.5 GW capacity by 2040.5

As of 2018, oil and coal accounted for about 9.47% of the total energy supply with oil at 8.59% and coal at 0.88%.5 This is mostly fossil fuel imports to power the transport and industrial sectors. Road transport account for 75% of emissions from the transport sector.3,9,10 Ethiopia recently unveiled its 10 year development plan that outlines energy as a key driver for its development.11 This was followed by a draft energy policy that prioritises increased access to energy for the poor, and emissions reductions driven by the eradication of the use of biomass.8,9

Targets and commitments

Note: NDC indicates that HFCs will be investigated at a later stage.

Economy-wide targets

Target type

Baseline scenario target

NDC target

Conditional target:

  • 12% below business as usual levels by 2030 (incl. LULUCF).1
    • Limiting GHG emissions to 361 MtCO₂e/yr in 2030 (incl. LULUCF).1
  • 365 MtCO₂e/yr by 2030 (excl. LULUCF).1
    • 200% above 2015 by 2030 (excl. LULUCF).1

Unconditional target:

  • 54% below business as usual by 2030 (incl. LULUCF).1
    • Limiting GHG emissions to 221 MtCO₂e/yr by 2030 (incl. LULUCF).1
  • 213 MtCO₂e/yr by 2030 (excl. LULUCF).1
    • 75% above 2015 by 2030 (excl. LULUCF).1,7

Market mechanism

  • The NDC states that the government is interested in pursuing provisions under Article 6 with like-minded partners (governments) as a way of meeting its targets.

Long-term target

  • Ethiopia’s Low-carbon development strategy, which is currently in development, targets carbon neutrality, but no target year has been stated yet.7

Sector coverage


Greenhouse gas coverage


Sectoral targets


  • Target of 117 MtCO₂e/yr by 2030.7
  • Increase total electricity consumption per capita from 100 kWh to 1269 kWh in 2030, increasing efficiency as well as reliability of energy sources.9
  • Household biomass use defined as an area that needs to be addressed through use of efficient cookstoves, modern cooking technologies and increased connectivity to the grid.9
  • Efficient cookstoves are assessed to have a potential to reduce emissions by 50 MtCO₂e/yr in 2030 in addition to reducing indoor air pollution and promoting gender equality.3


  • Target of 28.41 MtCO₂e/yr by 2030.7
  • Promote use of organic fertilisers in crop production and setting up an monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) framework amongst other measures.12


  • Target of -0.13 MtCO₂e/yr by 2030.7
  • This is to be achieved through efficient technologies and innovations across the value chain for a ‘climate resilient green industry’.12


  • Increase electricity access to 90% of its population by 2020.8


  • In this sector Ethiopia set out plans for development of electric rail transport, establishing fuel efficiency standards, fossil fuel phase out with alternatives including retiring of thermal plants and improved urban transport by 2030.3


  • Increase grid access and off-grid renewables such as solar and wind as well as better waste management.3,8,12


  • Target of 6.54 MtCO₂e/yr by 2030.7
  • Ethiopia plans on enhancing waste management practices to reduce emissions in this sector.3,12


  • Target of 17.27 MtCO₂e/yr by 2030.7,22
  • The National Green Development programme aims to achieve a target of 4 billion trees planted in the country.
  • 3.5 billion trees have been planted so far across the country.13