Ukraine declared independence on August 24, 1991. The next year in 1992, the country signed the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and stepped on a path of joined efforts towards preventing climate change. This was followed by ratification of the UNFCCC in 1996 and the Kyoto protocol to it in 2004, joining the Energy Community in 2010, signing the Association Agreement with EU and approval of National Action Plans on renewable energy in 2014 and on energy efficiency in 2015. Since 2016, Ukraine is a party to the Paris Agreement showing an understanding that climate change is real and that sustainable development is essential for its future.

Although significant efforts were made since 1992, in 2020 there is a growing impression of Ukraine’s movement in the energy sector in the opposite direction to the EU’s climate goals. Over the past year, Ukraine has stopped working on the Concept of Green Energy Transition, a government document aimed at the transition of Ukraine’s energy sector to the use of 60% of RES in the total supply of primary energy in 2050. Moreover, Ukraine has a debt for electricity generated from RES, a petition from people’s deputies regarding the unconstitutionality of the “green” tariff mechanism, plans to complete two units of the nuclear power plant by 2025, and billions in subsidies to support the coal industry. Not a single MW of manoeuvre generation or energy storage and storage systems has been built; no effective mechanisms for attracting investments have been created; no electronic auctions for state support of renewable energy projects have been launched.

In this study, the authors analysed the state of Ukraine’s transition to sustainable energy, including national strategic documents and alternative scenarios, identified the existing barriers that hamper this transition, and prepared proposals of priority measures that in our opinion should be taken to make the transition to sustainable energy in Ukraine happen.

On the 18th of November 2020, the outcomes of this analysis were presented at the online event that gathered more than 1700 stakeholders, including government, civil society, business, and academia that participated through the online platform and in real-time online viewing. In the final part of the event representatives of leading NGOs working in the field of ecology, energy efficiency and renewable energy sources made a joint statement to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, headed by Prime Minister of Ukraine Denis Shmyhal, about the need to develop and approve a Ukrainian Green Deal for the transition to sustainable energy.

The current report was made in the framework of an NGO cooperation project Civil Society for Sustainable Energy – Local to National in Eastern Europe – SELNEE, 2020-2021 financially supported by CISU, Denmark. The Report contains expert estimations and opinions of NGO Renewable Energy Agency (REA), which does not reflect the opinion of the financial supporter CISU.

Review of Climate Action and the Transition to Sustainable Energy in Ukraine

SELNEE project Partners:


Read more about the project “Civil Society for Sustainable Energy – from local to national in Eastern Europe (SELNEE) here:  and here:

The project SELNEE is financially supported by the Civil Society in Development Foundation (CISU), Denmark