Paris Agreement targets
On 31 July 2021, Ukraine submitted its updated NDC to the UNFCCC. The submission includes the target of a 65% reduction below 1990 levels by 2030 including LULUCF, slightly more ambitious than the range proposed at the Climate Ambition Summit in December 2020 (58% - 64% below 1990). The submitted target is a significant improvement of its previous target of at least a 40% reduction below 1990 level by 2030.
The new 2030 target equates to an emissions level of 323 MtCO2e excl. LULUCF compared to 544 MtCO2e for the old NDC target. The CAT assessment shows that currently implemented policies would lead to an emissions level of 403 to 434 MtCO2e in 2030. If Ukraine further implements the policies it has planned, it could reach or even overachieve its updated NDC target with a projected emissions level of 275 to 379 MtCO2e excl. LULUCF in 2030, which highlights room for a more ambitious NDC target.
The updated NDC includes the new goal of climate neutrality by 2060. In March 2021, the Cabinet of Ministers had already approved the “National Economic Strategy until 2030", which outlines how climate neutrality is to be achieved no later than 2060. This is a decade ahead of what is needed globally per the IPCC special report on 1.5°C, in line with Ukraine's capacity to mitigate, and a step forward from Ukraine’s 2050 Green Energy Transition Concept presented in January 2020, under which the country aimed to achieve climate neutrality by 2070.
The updated NDC was developed with a team of national and international experts, including broad public participation through a working group comprised of representatives of all relevant ministries, scientific institutions, business associations and non-governmental organisations. The NDC document is substantiated by an official analytical review report which illustrates emissions pathways and reduction potentials for each sector, outlining key challenges, implemented policies and measures as well as recommendations for future action. The detailed documentation of modelling assumptions and sectoral targets increases transparency compared to the previous submission.
Large emission reductions for 2030 compared to 1990 levels are modelled for the buildings, electricity, energy supply, transport, and industry sectors, while emissions from waste and agriculture are expected to roughly stay at 1990 levels.
The updated NDC covers all gases and economic sectors but is limited to Ukraine’s geopolitical boundaries: territories currently engaged in conflict are excluded for the time being. The NDC text states that the target is conditional on a stable political environment and trade conditions as well as access to sufficient international finance. The NDC text and supporting information further outline adaptation-related issues and considerations on gender equality.
The CAT rates Ukraine’s target as "Highly insufficient" when rated against modelled domestic pathways ("domestic target"), and "Insufficient" when rated against the fair share contribution ("fair share target"). Ukraine does not specify a conditional target or an international element in its NDC, so we rate the same target against the two rating frameworks.
We rate Ukraine’s NDC target as “Highly insufficient” when compared with modelled domestic pathways. The “Highly insufficient” rating indicates that Ukraine’s domestic target in 2030 is not at all consistent with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C temperature limit. If all countries were to follow Ukraine’s approach, warming could reach over 3°C and up to 4°C.
We rate Ukraine’s 2030 NDC target as “Insufficient” when compared with its fair-share contribution to climate action. The “Insufficient” rating indicates that Ukraine’s fair share target in 2030 needs substantial improvements to be consistent with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C temperature limit. If all countries were to follow Ukraine’s approach, warming could reach over 2°C and up to 3°C.
We do not have sufficient information to assess Ukraine’s climate finance contribution.
Under the UNFCCC, Ukraine is an Annex I country and thus not eligible to receive climate finance through the Green Climate Fund (GCF). Our methods do not provide a clear answer for the need for finance for Ukraine. On balance the CAT methodology shows that Ukraine should, if at all, receive limited climate finance. Our approach would not expect Ukraine to provide climate finance to other countries.
Further information on how the CAT rates countries (against modelled pathways and fair share) can be found here.
Last NDC update
Ukraine submitted its updated NDC on 31 July 2021, significantly strengthening the country’s 2030 target but still falling short of achieving a 1.5°C-compatible ambition level. The NDC further includes the goal of reaching climate neutrality no later than 2060.
Net zero and other long-term target(s)
Ukraine’s NDC includes the goal of reaching climate neutrality no later than 2060. Our assessment of this net zero target will follow later in the year.
Ukraine submitted a QELRO1 (Quantified Emission Limitation or Reduction Objective) level of 76% of base year emissions for the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. This represents a 14% reduction of average annual emissions in the period of 2013 to 2020 compared to the 1990 base year. The target is conditional on full carry-over and, to directly quote the Government, no "cancellation or any limitation on use of this legitimately acquired sovereign property".
The Doha Amendment limited targets for the second commitment period to the average historical emissions 2008–2010.2 Ukraine is the country most affected by this rule, which leads to a Kyoto pathway almost 300 MtCO2e/year lower than the direct translation of their target for the period 2012–2020. Ukraine has not yet ratified the Doha Amendment.3
In addition, under the Copenhagen Accord, Ukraine has pledged to reduce emissions by 20% below 1990 levels incl. LULUCF by 2020 (22% below 1990 levels excl. LULUCF by 2020) (Government of Ukraine, 2010). The pledge emissions level represents an increase of 116% on 2018 levels excl. LULUCF. Under the current policy projection, Ukraine will easily meet this target: the target is more than twice as high than the projected emissions in 2020 excl. LULUCF. Ukraine’s Copenhagen Pledge is conditional and based on a number of different factors: an agreed range of emissions reductions for Annex I parties, Ukraine’s status as an economy in transition, the flexible mechanisms, 1990 as base year, and to be allowed to continue to carry over surplus AAUs (Article 3.13).
1 | The QELRO, expressed as a percentage in relation to a base year, denotes the average level of emissions that an Annex B Party could emit on an annual basis during a given commitment period
2 | This is part of the Doha decisions which constitutes part of the amendments to the Kyoto Protocol. Amendments only come into effect once they are ratified by Parties.
3 | List of parties that adopted the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol as of 28 September, 2017.