This report is in the form of memos from Climate Scorecard Country Managers to Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework to Combat Climate Change (UNFCCC). Below is a description of the progress the country has made made in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions since the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015 and the challenges they still face in order to comply with the IPCC goal of reducing emissions by 50% by 2030.
To: Patricia Espinosa
Subject: Climate Scorecard Progress Report for Ukraine
From: Anastasiia Bushovska
Climate Scorecard Ukraine Country Manager
I serve as Climate Scorecard Country Manager for Ukraine and would like to offer you the following climate mitigation progress report from the perspective of my organization.
It is important to note that Ukraine has already reached its NDC goal of a 50% emissions reduction compared to 1990. Of course, much of the reduction can be attributed to the effects of the Soviet Union’s disintegration with the inevitable reduction of production rates, a GDP decrease, and a decline in the population and social living standards. Therefore, Ukraine has already been above 50% reduction since around 1995. The country is at the point of 62.4% of its initial reduction goal, according to 2019 data. It is within reach of Ukraine’s updated Nationally Determined Contribution of 65% reduction by 2030.
On the positive side, Ukraine has achieved the following:
- A Concept and Action Plan for State Climate Change Policy Implementation until 2030 (accepted in 2016 and 2017 respectively). The goal of these documents is to improve decarbonization. It is expected to contribute to economic, energy and environmental safety and the wellbeing of citizens.
- The Low Emission Development Strategy of Ukraine till 2050 (accepted in 2018) has the purpose of setting the directions for low carbon growth based on principles of sustainable development.
- The Law of Ukraine on the Basics of Monitoring, Reporting and Verification of GHG Emissions” (accepted in 2020) establishes the system of GHG-reporting in order to support the emission trading.
- Law of Ukraine on Ozone-depleting Substances and Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases” (accepted in 2019), which regulates the use, import, and consumption of ozone-depleting substances, fluorinated greenhouse gases, and products containing them.
- The Energy Strategy of Ukraine until 2035 with an ongoing preparation of Energy Strategy of Ukraine until 2050. The latter is expected to acknowledge the need for actions for climate change adaptation and mitigation, considering the latest NDC and energy modelling approaches.
- National Transport Strategy of Ukraine until 2030 aims at developing a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly transport system.
- National Waste Management Strategy of Ukraine until 2030 aims at the introduction of the circular economy principles and extended producer responsibility, which should encourage businesses to minimize waste generation and boost interest in waste recycling.
- National Economic Strategy until 2030 aims at decarbonizing the economy among other goals.
- Strategy for Environmental Safety and Adaptation to Climate Change until 2030 aims at adapting social, environmental and economic systems through addressing water, air and soil pollution, improving environmental monitoring and contributing to more sustainable resource use.
- Introduction of multiple national and local co-financing programs for improving the energy efficiency of private houses, state buildings, and housing cooperatives.
However, the following conditions remain in Ukraine that threaten its ability to make further progress and reach the important goal of reducing emissions by 65% by 2030.
- Draft Law of Ukraine “On the Prevention, Reduction and Control of Pollution Caused by Industrial Activities”, based on Directive 2010/75/EU on industrial pollution. This law is still pending approval and had already been proposed and modified multiple times. But it is essential for industrial standards to be up-to-date for stimulating emission reduction.
- Draft Law of Ukraine “On Waste Management”, approval of which is still delayed. Because of absent law, the development of the waste management sector is further delayed and many cities are not ready to build waste management infrastructure without the presence of a legal framework. Therefore, many waste issues are not solved, waste is not collected separately, while landfills are not equipped sufficiently to prevent emissions of methane and other greenhouse gases.
- Low Carbon Tax (now is 0.38 USD/ton) is not enough to compensate for the current emissions especially in combination with the low level of modernization of industrial sites. The more we wait before increasing carbon tax and modernizing industries, the more radical and painful changes may be needed later. An increase in the carbon tax has been talked about for several years, but no real change has been made.
- Just Transition of Coal Regions Recently a new Concept of the State target program on the Just Transition of coal regions of Ukraine was accepted by the legislature and pilot projects are to be launched in several coal-oriented cities with international funding support. Hopefully, follow-up policies will be developed and the transformation of coal-oriented cities will be scaled up, although, there is still no political clarity on how it will be done. There is still no clarity on the mine closedown, as there is still no strategy on coal industry restructuring. It is not clear how the proposed Just Transition can be done, when there is no national vision for restructuring of coal industry.
Climate Scorecard is committed to working with other like-minded organizations to support efforts by Ukraine to make further progress in its effort to reduce emissions by 65% by 2030 and help the Paris Agreement reach its important goals.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about this report or need further information.