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Ukraine Sectors

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

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.

Responsible for a little over a tenth of Ukraine’s total GHG emissions (excl. LULUCF), the transport sector has seen emissions rise each year since 2015.16 Emissions would be allowed to rise to 2030 under the 64% reduction target set in its updated NDC, as emissions in 2017 were already 69% below 1990 levels.19 A slight increase to 66% below 1990 levels would place it at the edge of the range of illustrative 1.5°C pathways (66-76%).

Under current policies the share of electric vehicles in the national car fleet would reach just 3% by 2030, compared to the 50% target in Ukraine’s National Transport Strategy.20 Public EV charging points increased by 57% between 2019-20 to reach a total of 8500.21 A target of increasing the use of alternative fuels in transport to 50% by 2030 is also part of the strategy as well as an increase in national access to bus transport to 90% of administrative units.

In general, the strategy is lacking in detail, with many targets not quantified, including the “development of cycling infrastructure”, “allocation of separate lanes for public transport”, and “increase the share of public transport”. Concurrently, the strategy targets a development of domestic air transport, with an aim to make services more affordable. This is counter to achieving a decarbonisation of the transport sector.

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 energy mix in the transport sector

petajoule per year

SSP1 Low CDR reliance
SSP1 High CDR reliance
Low energy demand
High energy demand - Low CDR reliance
  • Natural gas
  • Coal
  • Oil and e-fuels
  • Biofuel
  • Biogas
  • Biomass
  • Hydrogen
  • Electricity
  • Heat

Ukraineʼs transport sector direct CO₂ emissions (of energy demand)


  • Historical emissions
  • SSP1 High CDR reliance
  • SSP1 Low CDR reliance
  • High energy demand - Low CDR reliance
  • Low energy demand

1.5°C compatible transport sector benchmarks

Direct CO₂ emissions and shares of electricity, biofuels and hydrogen in the transport final energy demand from illustrative 1.5°C pathways for Ukraine

Decarbonised transport sector by
Direct CO₂ emissions
13 to 14
6 to 7
1 to 4
2050 to 2058
Relative to reference year in %
−51 to −47%
−77 to −73%
−95 to −86%
Share of electricity
25 to 27
55 to 61
70 to 71
Share of biofuels
13 to 14
8 to 32
7 to 36
Share of hydrogen
4 to 9
5 to 37
24 to 45