This year’s CCPI did not evaluate Ukraine’s climate performance. This decision was due to the far-reaching effects of the aggressive Russian war against the country. The war has caused massive damage and destruction in the energy, industry, transport, and building sectors. As immense missile attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure continue through October 2022, 40% of energy facilities are already severely damaged.
Russian War limits Ukraine’s Climate Action
Before Russia’s aggression in earlier 2022, Ukraine ranked 20th in last year’s CCPI, placing it among the medium-performing countries. Ukraine made some key improvements to its climate policy. In 2021, it adopted an updated Nationally Determined Contribution in which it vowed to, by 2030, reduce GHG emissions by 35% compared with 1990 levels and to reach climate neutrality no later than 2060. A monitoring, reporting, and verification system was also introduced in January 2021 to ensure the future implementation of a national emissions trading system.
While Ukraine has significantly increased its renewable energy capacities over the past years, the war has led to decommissioning of about 90% of wind energy and 45–50% of solar energy capacities.
The CCPI experts noted last year that Ukraine should have been more ambitious in its climate policy. However, Russia’s aggression has made such improvements impossible.
This means Ukraine’s ability to follow through on its climate policies is limited, and GHG emissions can be expected to fall dramatically in 2022. This is due to the ongoing war and is unrelated to Ukraine’s climate actions.
Sustainable Rebuilding of Ukraine needed
In the future, Ukraine will have to face the massive task of rebuilding its country. Considering the urgency of the climate crisis, it will be essential that Ukraine tackles this reconstruction as sustainably as possible, investing in renewable energy to replace lost energy production capacities and rebuilding its economy considering CO2 neutrality.
The Draft Recovery Plan the Ukrainian government proposed in July 2022 envisions the reconstruction process based on the “build back better” principle. It also indicates the possible implementation of key EU principles to transition to a green economy.
On the one hand, the plan foresees further development of renewable energy sources, phasing out fossil fuels in heating, increasing energy efficiency measures in the building sector, and implementing a just transition programme for single-industry and coal communities. Yet on the other, it stipulates intentions to increase nuclear energy capacities, which is inconsistent with sustainable development. Other aspects of Ukraine’s recovery plans include weakening of environmental control along with deregulation and simplified access to minerals and raw materials, as well as increasing livestock production without applying technologies to reduce emissions and recycle waste.
Ukraine’s sustainable recovery and transition to a post-war green economy will be a huge undertaking. It will be essential for Ukraine to access funds and necessary support from the international community. Vast expansion of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency measures in all sectors of the economy is a prerequisite for ensuring resilience and energy security for Ukraine.
While the recovery process is already underway in deoccupied territories, the CCPI national experts note that it must be ensured that short-term relief and recovery measures do not lead to further lock-in of energy inefficiency and dependence on fossil fuels.