The consultation process for the second Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) is still ongoing in Ukraine. The revision process started back in 2019. So far, the position developed by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources is to ensure a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 to 35% compared to 1990 level.
The goal of reducing emissions by 65% from 1990 levels may seem ambitious given that the European Union expects to reduce emissions by 55%. But there is one twist. As of 2019, Ukraine has already reduced emissions by 63% from 1990 levels, so the goal for the next ten years to reduce emissions by only 2% is quite realistic and achievable.
According to the European Green Deal, the entire European continent is expected to become climate neutral by 2050. Moreover, in April, the European Commission submitted for consideration the «Climate Law», which is supposed to formally adopt the goal of climate neutrality until 2050. Ukraine has also committed to become carbon neutral by 2060 at the latest, which calls for emission reductions now.
So why is the European Business Association, which was founded in 1999 with the support of the European Commission in Ukraine, is complicating the process of adopting a completely feasible NDC for Ukraine? By proposing to set a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to the level of 40-45% from 1990, the EBA essentially calls for an increase in emissions in Ukraine by 3-7%.
The EBA says that “… the climate ambition established in NDC2 should not constrain the possible rate of economic growth of our economy.” According to a recent report by the International Energy Agency, «Net Zero by 2050: a Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector.» economic growth cannot and should not occur at the expense of increased emissions. The report proposes a cost-effective and economically productive path leading to a clean and sustainable economy dominated by renewable energy sources such as solar and wind rather than fossil fuels.
The climate crisis that is unfolding outside our windowі — heat waves, droughts, a decrease in levels of water in Ukrainian rivers, loss of crops should have become a sufficient argument for those who are worried about long-term planning. It is impossible to continue the increase in emissions, which has led us to catastrophic consequences and hope that the situation will resolve itself.
Either Ukraine will take all possible steps towards climate neutrality, or all that remains is to respond to the rising challenges of the climate crisis, exposing the economy to enormous risks and having lost the support from investors and international partners.