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

In brief

This is a summary of the most important findings of our analysis. Get a brief overview over the most important figures and entry points into the various parts of the in depth analysis.

Sections on this page

Ambition gap

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Ukraineʼs total GHG emissions

excl. LULUCF MtCO₂e/yr

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Displayed values
Reference year
−120 %−100 %−80 %−60 %−40 %−20 %0 %20002020204020601234
  • 1.5°C compatible pathways
  • Middle of the 1.5°C compatible range
  • Current policy projections
  • 1.5°C emissions range
  • Historical emissions
Legend
  1. 1
    1.5°C emissions level
    −85 %
  2. 2
    Proposed NDC
    −65 %
  3. 3
    Ambition gap
    −20 %
  4. 4
    Reference year
    1990
Key messages

In December 2020, Ukraine announced a draft plan for a considerable update to its previous NDC of at least a 40% reduction below 1990 levels (41% excluding LULUCF emissions), proposing it be strengthened to a 58-64% reduction below 1990 levels (59-65% excluding LULUCF).

1 Government of Ukraine. 2020 Common Reporting Format (CRF) Table. (2020).

2 Prokip, A. The Energy Crisis in Ukraine: Predicted, But Still a Surprise. Focus Ukraine: A blog of the Kennan Institute. (2020).

3 Kinstellar. Ukraine introduces long-awaited changes to incentives for renewable energy. Lexology. (2020).

4 Mykhailenko, O. et al. Quarterly Monitoring Report on the Implementation of Ukraine’s Energy Action Plan. (2019).

5 Government of Ukraine. Ukraine’s energy strategy for the period up to 2035. (2017).

6 Climate Action Tracker. Ukraine | Climate Target Update Tracker.

7 Government of Ukraine. Intended Nationally Determined Contribution of Ukraine to a New Global Climate Agreement. (2015).

8 Government of Ukraine. Ukraine will intensify its participation in the global fight against climate change – President at the International Climate Ambition Summit. (2020).

9 Government of Ukraine. Ukraine. 2020 National Inventory Report (NIR). (2020).

10 Government of Ukraine. On approval of the National Transport Strategy of Ukraine for the period up to 2030. (2018).

11 Government of Ukraine. Green Energy Transition of Ukraine until 2050. (2020).

12 Climate Action Tracker. Ukraine | June 2020 Update. (2020).

13 Global Forest Watch. Ukraine Deforestation Rates & Statistics | GFW. (2020).

14 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.

This still falls considerably short of the 85% reduction by 2030 to be aligned with the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement.

Ukraine is on track to meet its current weak NDC, but would require additional policies to meet even the lower end of its proposed new target, let alone a 1.5°C compatible target.

Ukraine’s recently released draft Green Energy Transition until 2050 outlines a commitment to transition to a ‘climate neutral’ economy by 2070.

Our analysis shows that GHG emissions (excluding LULUCF) need to be reduced by 92-97% below 1990 levels by 2050 or reach levels 30-74 MtCO2e excluding LULUCF. Remaining emissions will need to be balanced by negative emissions from the land sector or other carbon dioxide removal approaches. However, recent trends show Ukraine’s forestry emissions are on the cusp of becoming a net source of emissions, which will need to be reversed to align with a 1.5°C compatible pathway.14

The draft Green Energy Transition Until 2050 also specifies that a 70% share of renewable energy in the power sector is technically feasible, however there are currently no such long-term targets adopted.

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Key messages

Ukraine’s 2017 Energy Strategy 2035 forecasts a 17% renewable share of electricity generation, far short of a 1.5°C compatible share of 56%. The strategy also forecasts a fossil fuel share of 34% in 2030, which is more than double the upper limit of a 1.5°C compatible range of 3-15%, and only marginally lower than the 38% reported in 2018.

This strategy is currently under review, making now an ideal time to update it with ambitious 1.5°C compatible targets for renewable energy generation and a coal phase-out

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Key power sector benchmarks

Renewables shares and year of zero emissions power Including the use of BECCS

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Current targets
Required targets
2030
  1. 2030 67 to 69% Renewable share
2034
  1. 2034-2040 Zero emissions power
2050
  1. 2050 90 to 99% Renewable share

Footnotes