Salus populi suprema lex . Marcus Tullius Cicero

A decision on Ukraine’s participation in the second commitment period of Kyoto Protocol Ukraine has not been made yet
Thursday, 07 March 2013 23:01


During the meeting of the Public Council to the State Environmental Investment Agency (SEIA) on 5th of March, 2013, SEIA informed public about the need to investigate the possibility of participation of Ukraine in the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. Thus, it is uncertain whether Ukraine will take part in the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.

Uncertainty of Ukraine’s position, expressed by the SEIA, is confirmed by the following:

- International community demands to limit growth of emissions, which does not comply with commitments declared by Ukraine, that mean actual growth of GHG emissions: According to the new text of Annex B to the Kyoto Protocol, Ukraine has quantified commitments to limit emissions for 2013-2020, which is 76% from the baseline of 1990. In addition, according to Ukraine’s position, this figure is accompanied by a note, according to which, unused excess quota (assigned amount units) in the first commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol should be transferred to the second commitment period and used without any restrictions. But the new version of Article 3 of the Kyoto Protocol actually forbids increasing greenhouse gas emissions. Under the new conditions, allowed emissions are calculated based on the average emissions in the period from 2008 to 2010, which means the need for Ukraine to stabilize emissions at this level. For Ukraine, the average emissions for 2008, 2009, 2010 is 41.95% of the emissions in 1990 when agreed obligation is 76% from the base year (1990). According to SEIA, selected period is the worst for Ukraine, because it corresponds to years of global financial and economic crisis, which was accompanied by a significant reduction in production and corresponding reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Emissions during this period are lower than annual emissions in all previous years (for example, 11 % lower than emissions in 2007).

- The international community establishes restrictions on quotas trading, that were not used during the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, when Ukraine supports full transfer of unused quotas and their use without any restrictions: It was decided at the Conference of the Parties in Doha, that assigned amount units from the previous commitment period to the next commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol are transfer to the Reserve account which is created in national registry. These units may be acquired by the Parties in the amount of up to 2% of the assigned amount for the first commitment period. According to the SEIA, even 2% for Ukraine does not make sense because the potential buyers of surplus quotas (Australia, EU, Japan, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, Switzerland) made a declaration that they "will not buy assigned amount units carried over from the first commitments period of the Kyoto Protocol"; moreover, this decision, virtually eliminates the transfer of unused quotas contrary to the text of the note to Ukraine’s submission on quantified commitments for 2013-2020, as described above.

- The requirements of international community to reduce emissions may slow economic development of Ukraine: According to the SEIA, the conditions contained in the text of the amendment to the Kyoto Protocol are not acceptable because of projected annual growth of greenhouse gas emissions in Ukraine; because of real need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, limit of growth theoretically could have a negative impact on the competitiveness of Ukraine's economy, compared with powerful developing countries that do not have commitments to reduce greenhouse gases.

- Many countries have not ratified the Kyoto protocol and refuse from the second commitment period: Second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol in terms of actual emission reductions will be supported by a limited number of industrialized countries, because there are no commitments for developing countries that have strong economies (e.g. China, India, Brazil and others). The Kyoto Protocol has not been ratified by the United States; during the long negotiations for the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol Canada refused from the Kyoto Protocol. Japan, New Zealand and Russia announced refusing to participate in the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol because, in their opinion, the Kyoto Protocol with the list of countries that were actually obliged to reduce emissions in the first period, gave too little effect to stop rising global temperatures.

- Uncertainty about feasibility of joint implementation projects in the future: During the eighteenth Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC and the eighth meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol a decision on the final approval and adoption of the joint implementation guidelines has not been adopted, and JI projects are extremely important for Ukraine, given its leadership in the development and implementation of this mechanism. At the moment there is no guarantee that future document is in the interest of Ukraine in full in the context of further preparation and implementation of projects under the Joint Implementation mechanism.

- International community requires improvement of national inventory system of anthropogenic emissions and removals of greenhouse gases, which may require additional resources in Ukraine: a number of decisions in methodology of emissions and removals of greenhouse gases inventory and proper reporting were adopted in Doha; according to the SEIA, these solutions significantly increase the requirements for a national system for estimating anthropogenic emissions and removals of greenhouse gases, which can lead to the need to attract additional resources to ensure compliance with new international requirements.

Propositions of the SEIA:

In order to study proposals for further participation of the Ukrainian side in the next commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol and the final decision on ratification or rejection of the ratification of the amendment to the Kyoto Protocol, which regulates the second commitment period, SEIA offers:

• to continue and expand the study of possible consequences of participation or non-participation of Ukraine in the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol in the foreign policy, domestic economic, legal contexts involving all concerned authorities, business, scientific and expert community.

Public propositions (prepared with the participation of the members of the Working Group of NGOs on climate change and provided to the SEIA):

- Public offers Ukraine to ratify an amendment to the Kyoto Protocol and the commitments set at -58% of greenhouse gas emissions from the level of 1990. Ukraine, in any case, should implement policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, taking to account the parallel process of development of a new agreement in 2015 at the international level, and gradual increase of the obligations on preventing climate change for all countries. In addition, under the agreement with the EU Energy Community 2001/80/ES, Ukraine has to implement a number of measures to reduce emissions from large combustion plants until 2018.

- With the support of the EU, Ukraine plans to develop a low-carbon economic development strategy, which, with due attention by the government and the implementation in different sectors can contribute to the gradual reduction of greenhouse gases on national level.

Prepared by Mariana Bulgakova based on the materials, provided to public council to SEIA.



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