At the end of 2019 Ukraine had several major events that will affect its climate policy.
The new Parliament organized a hearing on “Priorities for Environmental Policy for the Next Five years”. During the hearing the Minister of Energy and Environment of Ukraine, deputies, and researchers presented a vision of the environmental priorities for the next 5 years.
The Minister announced the prioritization of protection of citizens from the negative effects of climate change, as well as the issue of energy efficiency. Energy efficiency activities are very important for Ukraine. Many buildings of residential and non-residential stock (which are more than 30 years old) are in unsatisfactory physical condition and do not meet modern requirements for energy efficiency. This results in high energy costs and high emission levels. Increasing energy efficiency should significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The new Parliament also enacted the Law on Monitoring, Reporting and Verification of Greenhouse Gas Emissions, which is linked with Ukraine’s association with the EU. The new law will create a single system for emissions reporting and verification. It will provide information that will help reduce emissions from large enterprises. Currently, each large enterprise has its own method for measuring emissions; there is no common standard for reporting and reports from each enterprise go unchecked.
A delegation of Ukraine officials took part in the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties 25, in Madrid. During the meeting, the Minister of Environment made several policy announcements including:
- A statement on the development of the “Green Energy Vision of Ukraine” in 2050;
- Plans to shut down state coal mines. The process of reduction of the domestic coal industry in various manifestations, mainly negative ones, leading to the socio-economic decline of mining regions has been going on for the last three decades. The industry is now in a state of final collapse. In Ukraine, 29 of the 33 state-owned mines are not profitable at all. The domestic coal industry is fully dependent on multibillion-dollar annual state subsidies.
- Increased carbon dioxide tax. Ukraine now has the lowest emission tax in the world, which is 10 UAH per ton(0.25 USA $), which is 2.5 times lower than in Poland and only 315 times lower than in Denmark. The tax has no impact on reducing emissions from sources, as it is very low.
- A decision not to support the transfer of quotas from the previous Kyoto Protocol period to the Paris Agreement;
- Greater involvement of the public, particular young people, in combatting climate change. At this stage, Ukraine is reviewing its Paris Agreement NDC, and a working group was set up explore the possibility of greater youth participation in the process.
- The Minister suggested the creation of a National Energy and Climate Plan.
The Minister also stated that Ukraine is at the beginning of the process of reviewing its Energy Strategy so that it includes a transition to renewable energy (RES) and describes specific ways to completely abandon fossil fuels. At the moment, the plan envisions the construction of new coal stations that will slow down the process of coal abandonment. However, based on the above statements, it is expected that new coal capacity will be phased out when the Strategy is revised.
Activity Rating: **** Moving Ahead
The Minister of the Environment and the new Parliament have initiated several new policy initiatives that can have a positive impact on reducing Ukraine’s emissions. They now need to involve a broader array of stakeholders in developing and most importantly implementing these policies. These are important first steps, but it is important to move forward and be ambitious enough to reduce emissions, in policies for phasing out fossil fuels, a just transition, the development of renewable energy sources.
Contact the Minister of Energy and Environment Protection with the following message:
Dear Minister Oleksii Orzhel,
Climate Scorecard applauds the new policies you have initiated to combat climate change. We hope you will develop these new policies in consultation with a broad array of stakeholders and that you will develop and monitor detailed implementation plans for each of the policies you are putting forward.
Contact: Oleksii Orzhel
Minister of Energy and Environment Protection
This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Ukraine Country Manager Yevheniia Zasiadko