Skip to content

Current situation

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

Emissions profile

This analysis was conducted on the basis of Ukraine’s 2021 updated nationally determined contribution and before the brutal and unwarranted Russian military invasion in the country.

We are publishing it to show that the Ukrainian government had plans in place to facilitate a transition to a low carbon economy.

Once peace is restored, in addition to very large reconstruction and humanitarian needs, Ukraine will need international support to build a climate-resilient society and economy in line with the Paris Agreement.

Ukraine saw a dramatic collapse in GHG emissions after the dissolution of the Soviet Union from 1990 onwards. But emissions started to steadily rise again from the late 1990s until the onset of the global financial crisis.1 As a result of the economic slowdown, emissions were falling again across almost all sectors over the subsequent decade, reaching 64% below 1990 levels in 2018 (excluding LULUCF emissions).

The waste and LULUCF sectors are exceptions from this downward trend. Waste emissions in 2019 were roughly the same as they were in 1990, while the LULUCF sector has transformed from a considerable emissions sink in 1990 (-59MtCO₂e/1990) to be net neutral. This is primarily due to a large increase in emissions from cropland over this period.

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 IEF. Support to the Government of Ukraine on updating its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) -Report 3/ Modelling Report. (2021).

15 Ministry of Energy and Environmental Protection Ukraine. КОНЦЕПЦІЯ ЕНЕРГЕТИЧНОГО УКРАЇНИ (Ukraine Green Deal). (2020).

16 Government of Ukraine. Ukraine – Common Reporting Format (CRF) Table. (2021).

17 Breunig, J. A revision of Ukraine’s Carbon Tax. (2020).

18 GIZ. Successful climate mitigation through emissions trading. (2021).

19 Ministry of Energy and Environmental Protection Ukraine. Analytical Review of the Updated Nationally Determined Contribution of Ukraine to the Paris Agreement. (2021). Report_ Project_EN.PDF

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

21 UkraineInvest. Electric cars market growth: how Ukraine can benefit. (2020).

22 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.

Ukraineʼs current GHG emissions

MtCO₂e/yr

Displayed values

By sector

  • Power
  • Fugitive emissions
  • Transport
  • Buildings
  • Industry (energy use)
  • Other
  • Industry (processes)
  • Agriculture
  • Waste
  • LULUCF
Energy (66%)0

By gas

  • CO₂
  • CH₄
  • N₂O
  • Other
068%0

Sectors by gas

Energy
080%0
Agriculture
077%0
Industry (processes)
089%0

Energy system

Ukraine is in the midst of an energy crisis. High levels of incurred debt and a lack of long-term energy policy planning have resulted in a cut to feed-in tariffs offered for renewable energy generation.2,3 Under the previously high feed-in tariffs, renewable energy capacity tripled in 2019, reaching 6.4 GW, but lower feed-in tariffs may provide a barrier to maintaining such levels of investment.4

In 2019, Ukraine’s primary energy mix was made up primarily of coal (29%), gas (26%), and nuclear (24%). The rest was primarily from oil (15%), with renewables and biomass making up less than 5%.

Ukraine’s Energy Strategy to 2035 outlines an intent to deregulate the coal sector in order to increase efficiency, alongside its intent to close unprofitable state-owned coal mines by 2025.5 The strategy also includes a plan to subsidise natural gas production for the purpose of encouraging exports and domestic consumption.

Targets and commitments

Economy-wide targets

Target type

Base year emissions target

NDC target

  • 65% below 1990 by 2030 (incl. LULUCF).
  • 66% below 1990 by 2030 (excl. LULUCF).

Market mechanism

  • An emissions trading scheme is set to commence by 2025, but no emissions cap has been set yet.

Long-term target

  • As part of its updated NDC, Ukraine has committed to reaching net zero emissions by 2060.

Sector coverage

EnergyTransportIndustryWasteAgricultureLULUCF

Greenhouse gas coverage

CO₂CH₄NF₃HFCsN₂OSF₆

Sectoral targets

Power

  • At least 13% of total electricity generation to be from renewables by 2030 (25% by 2035).

Transport

  • 60% reduction in emissions below 1990 levels by 2030.

Footnotes