Zhytomyr, Ukraine – A Climate-Neutral City By 2050

Zhytomyr, Ukraine – A Climate-Neutral City By 2050

This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Ukraine Country Manager Anastasiia Bushovska

In Ukraine, there are 259 cities that signed the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, among which 161 pledged to reduce carbon emissions by 30% by 2030. Some of these also pledged to reach 100% renewable energy threshold by 2050. Among those cities is Zhytomyr.

The plan of Zhytomyr includes focusing on public transport, energy efficiency and renewable energy. The sequence of actions is as follows:

  1. Evaluate energy use to estimate where improvement can be made (Energy-audits).
  2. Construct a short-term (10 years) strategy to measure the pace of reaching the goal.
  3. Create the mechanisms that would support the goal (support programs, subsidies, sanctions, benefits, etc.).

To reach the goal of climate-neutrality, the city plans to attract investors to finance the energy transition. To estimate the possibility of the transition, a climate modeling scenario was developed by NASU Institute for Economics and Forecasting with the support of 350.org.

The scenario-modeling also estimated the cost of such a transition. A 10-year plan was estimated to cost 104 million euros. That is an enormous sum, considering the budget for city development is only 2 million euros. However, the process was launched with the expectation that investments and grants to be found along the way.

To begin the energy transition, Zhytomyr changed all city lights to LED. Also, the energy sector started to include the use of biogas captured from the city’s landfill. Bioenergy facilities and solar power plants are under construction. For energy efficiency, the kindergartens and schools were insulated. All these actions and plans enabled the city to receive a Silver European Energy Award, certifying the energy-efficient management approach of the city.

To address the transport sector, a Plan for Sustainable Urban Mobility was issued. It focuses on development of electric transport and infrastructure. Additionally, the city is working on a Plan for Energy and Climate Development to address both mitigation and adaptation to climate change. Further plans are also being developed, incorporating novel results of scenario modelling.


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