In July 2018, Ukraine published its 2050 Low Emission Development Strategy. Ukraine could reach its “Critically insufficient” commitment under the Paris Agreement based on current policy trends outlined in the strategy. If all planned policies in the strategy were to be fully implemented, Ukraine would significantly overachieve its Paris target. Therefore, Ukraine could revise its Paris targets in the near future. At this moment Ukraine falls into the group of countries whose Paris Agreement targets are so weak that it would take little to no effort to achieve.
Ukraine opened its electricity wholesale market in July 2019, as it implements the Electricity Market Law of June 2017. This law aims at aligning Ukraine’s national legislation with the European Union’s Third Energy Package, which includes separating companies according to distribution and transmission of electricity.
Since the July 2019 elections, the new government has established the Ministry of Energy and Environmental Protection, and its new Minister is the former head of the Ukrainian Association of Renewable Energy, which sends a positive signal. Following his appointment Orzhel highlighted increased gas imports from Poland and a renewed focus on energy efficiency and renewable energy as key priorities. Further, Ukraine is looking to attract international investments for untapping natural gas reserves in its onshore blocks and in the Black Sea.
While market regulations continue to adjust financial flows in the system, Ukraine made an important step forward with its new May 2019 President signed the law on renewable energy sources. This legislation aims to stimulate the development of renewable energy by proposing a new support scheme for renewable energy based on capacity auctions rather than current feed-in tariffs. These developments indicate that Ukraine could move towards a more renewable energy system.
*Based on CAT calculations
According to our analysis, Ukraine will overachieve its proposed targets with currently implemented policies.
The most recent historical data from 2017 shows that emissions excl. LULUCF have declined by 61% below 1990 levels. However, Ukraine’s current climate target would see its emissions grow substantially from present levels, at a time when they should continue to steadily decrease, under all approaches consistent with limiting warming below 2˚C. There is some uncertainty surrounding Ukraine’s NDC and its implementation of its climate policies, in part because of its political instability, but the work on updating the NDC is ongoing and a methodology has been approved by EBRD (Mykhailenko et al., 2019).
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.
Ukraine’s projected emissions in 2030 result in a range of 7% to 12% lower than the NDC target of 543 MtCO2e. In 2018, Ukraine published its 2050 Low Emission Development Strategy that could reduce emissions to 21% to 44% below the NDC level in 2030.
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.