Umbrella Series Part 3: Ukraine Needs Realistic Goal Posts Urgently!

As an economy in transition, Ukraine, a member of the Umbrella Group, is a country with a special status in the UNFCCC framework. Nevertheless, this special treatment cannot extend to the setting of 2020 targets. Experts from the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) analyzed and compared the pledged emissions reduction targets of all Annex I countries. IIASA concluded that Ukraine’s emissions reduction pledge of 20% below 1990 levels by 2020 was highly inadequate, since Ukraine’s business as usual scenario for 2020 will be as much as 54% below 1990 levels. Moreover, such a target means that Ukraine expects a huge amount of new hot air for trading. One should characterize Ukraine’s proposal not as an actual emissions reduction target, but a “no emission reduction measures necessary” target.

Experts have estimated that Ukraine could easily take a target of at least 57% below 1990 levels by 2020, with the added benefit of actually making money! With its National Climate Mitigation Strategy not yet in place, Ukraine should perhaps use this opportunity to develop a mitigation strategy that is not only realistic and economically viable but also delivers for the climate. ECO would be very interested to hear a presentation from Ukraine about its national climate change policies and assumptions and conditions related to a 2020 target. Such a presentation was notably missing in the workshops in Bangkok and Bonn.

While it is obviously one of the Ukraine’s priorities to see a continuation of its current special status, it should understand that it cannot also have its other demands met, like full carry-over of AAUs or continuing with a way-above business as usual scenario target.

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