1 CAT interpretation of the February 2018 announcement of the Environmental Minister of Ukraine and the Draft Low Carbon Development Strategy
* Excl. LULUCF credits and debits, excl. LULUCF base year emissions accounting rules and without application of historical threshold on emissions allowances in 2020 under the Doha decision.
In February 2018, the Environmental Minister of Ukraine announced the government would reduce emissions by 66–69% below 1990 levels. Although not explicitly mentioned, we assume this refers to 2050, as it would be in line with the long-term scenarios included in the Draft Low Carbon Development Strategy of Ukraine to 2050. This strategy also suggests an emission target of 71% below 1990 levels in 2030, i.e. emissions are expected to rise after 2030.
If implemented, both targets would be far more ambitious than the current commitment under the Paris Agreement, which includes a target of reducing GHG emissions, including land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) by at least 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 and the Ukraine’s current long-term target of roughly halving emissions by 2050 compared to 1990.
Ukraine’s current climate target would see its emissions grow significantly from present levels, at a time when they should be steadily decreasing, under all approaches consistent with limiting warming below 2˚C. The most recent historical data from 2014 shows that emissions excl. LULUCF have already declined by 63% below 1990 levels. There is some uncertainty surrounding Ukraine’s NDC and its implementation of its climate policies, in part because of its political instability, and the Government has stated that it will revise its NDC after “restoration of its territorial integrity and state sovereignty.” Ukraine also needs to be more transparent about its intended accounting methods.
Ukraine has not yet defined which LULUCF accounting method it will adopt. Its NDC states that an approach to including LULUCF in its climate change mitigation structure “will be defined as soon as technical opportunities emerge, but no later than 2020.” Clarity on which accounting method it plans to adopt would be in the interests of transparency.
We rate Ukraine’s NDC “Critically insufficient”—it is not in line with any interpretation of a “fair” approach to the former 2°C goal, let alone the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit. However, although the emissions reductions announced in February 2018 are not legally binding the target is an indicator that the Ukraine’s target could be more in line with the Paris Agreement in the future.
Ukraine’s projected emissions in 2030 result in a range of 14% higher to 20% lower than the NDC target of 522 MtCO2e. The range is attributed to the uncertainty that surrounds Ukraine’s implementation of climate policies, in part due to political instability. In 2017, Ukraine updated its energy strategy through to 2035 with new targets for renewable energy. However, we have not further quantified the energy strategy in our analysis, as there are no clear supporting policies tabled or discussed, except the feed-in tariff mechanisms.
Ukraine has stated that it will actively participate in current and future international market mechanisms but its current emissions reduction target does not take these market mechanisms into account. When revising its NDC, Ukraine should elaborate on its intended accounting on both LULUCF and international market mechanisms, which would improve the transparency of its target and enable clearer comparisons with other NDCs.
 The minister announced that an energy reform could allow Ukraine to “achieve a much-desired and ambitious goal of CO2 emissions reductions to 31–34% of 1990 levels” (Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine, 2018).
 Ukraine’s NDC states that “It will not exceed 60% of 1990 GHG emissions level in 2030” (Government of Ukraine, 2016).