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.
In July 2021, Ukraine updated its 2030 emissions target from a 40% reduction below 1990 levels to 65% below 1990 levels including LULUCF emissions (66% excl. LULUCF)., A reduction of this magnitude is moderately greater than what is projected in 2030 under current policies (54%), but falls short of the 85% reduction that would be aligned with the 1.5°C temperature limit of the Paris Agreement.
Illustrative 1.5°C pathways show emissions falling from current levels (332MtCO₂e/yr in 2018) to 142 MtCO₂e/yr by 2030. Ukraine’s new target instead allows emissions to remain roughly at current levels to 2030.
As part of Ukraine’s recently updated NDC, the country aims to achieve net zero GHG emissions in 2060, an improvement on the 2070 date outlined in its draft Green Energy Transition Until 2050. Our analysis shows that GHG emissions (excluding LULUCF) should 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 in forestry emissions show that the sector is on the cusp of becoming a source of GHG emissions rather than a sink as it is currently. This process is mainly being driven by deforestation. It is critical that in its long-term strategy, Ukraine considers the role of the forestry sector in sequestering emissions (and therefore halting deforestation) to reach net zero GHG.,
In 1.5°C compatible scenarios, CO₂ emissions fall by 96% below 1990 levels by 2040, before dropping to zero by 2050. The remaining emissions in 2050 are primarily from the agriculture sector and industry processes, non-energy related emissions currently considered to be difficult to abate. Such remaining emissions may require the utilisation of negative emissions technologies in order to reach net zero, with bioenergy with carbon capture and storage constituting a significant share of total primary energy demand by 2040 in 1.5°C compatible pathways.