From November 30 to December 12, 2023, the United Arab Emirates will host the 28th Conference of Parties (COP28) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This position presents a vision of the decisions that must be made at the international and national level in Ukraine to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. The recommendations of the Global Stocktake report are taken into account, as well as important recommendations within the framework of previous negotiations.
In addition to the challenges related to the climate crisis, Ukraine also faces an urgent challenge — Russian full-scale invasion. The war, which has been ongoing since 2014, directly affects the climate crisis and, accordingly, the entire world. The climate crisis and war have a direct connection and one root – which is fossil fuels.
A significant part of the federal budget of Russia is formed precisely at the expense of the export of fossil fuels. That is why climate negotiations, among other things, are also a lever of influence on the actions of the aggressor and an indirect tool to prevent the financing of aggression with the help of fossil fuels in the future. Hence, the main leitmotif of the delegation should be to promote the phase-out of fossil fuels.
- Phasing out fossil fuels
It is important that the Parties during COP28 affirmed the need to move away from fossil fuels and their subsidies to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, and that the global energy system should be “fully or mostly decarbonized” by the 2030s, leaving no room for coal power.
2. Settlement of liability for climate damage from armed conflicts
During COP27, Ukraine presented the Global Initiative for Environmental Damage Assessment from Military Conflicts. During this year’s COP28 a broad coalition of Parties should support the creation of a mechanism of responsibility for damage caused to the environment as a result of Russia’s war in Ukraine and armed conflicts in general.
At the same time, we believe a continuation of the inclusion of emissions (not related to military operations) from the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine (the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and other temporarily occupied territories) to the emissions cadastre of the Russian Federation is inadmissible.
3. Ecosystems and biodiversity conservation
Until the next round of submission of nationally determined contributions, it is important to align countries’ climate ambitions with the goals of the Kunming-Montreal Global Framework Agreement about biodiversity. In particular, it concerns the need to take appropriate measures to reduce the intensity of biodiversity loss factors and expand the network of nature-protected territories within the framework of national plans and strategies for the protection and restoration of natural ecosystems.
Simultaneously, protecting and restoring ecosystems cannot be used to offset greenhouse gas emissions. This must happen simultaneously with a rapid phase-out of all fossil fuels and a sharp reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in all sectors.
4. Carbon markets
During the negotiations, Ukraine should not support initiatives that call into question the transparency of monitoring under Article 6 and any initiatives that would allow the transfer of emission reduction units from past periods. Ukraine’s position regarding market-based bilateral instruments within the framework of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement must meet the criteria for additionality and the prevention of double counting of emission reduction units.
Appropriate control tools must accompany Article 6 market mechanisms. These tools should provide sufficient detail in tracking the origin of reduction units to prevent double counting, where multiple countries may use the same reduction unit to report on meeting national climate targets.
5. Strengthening Ukraine’s participation in global climate initiatives
5.1. Presenting the plan to phase out coal in energy (Powering Past Coal Alliance initiative)
During COP28, Ukraine can once again emphasize its own willingness to phase out coal in energy by 2035 and ensure a phased phase-out in a fair manner: with a clear plan to close coal plants, educational programs and opportunities for employment and social guarantees for coal workers, as well as economic diversification of mining communities.
5.2. Initiative to reduce methane emissions (Global Methane Pledge)
As part of the activities to reduce methane emissions, Ukraine should report on the sectoral measures implemented from 2021 and the adoption in 2023 of the Action Plan for the Implementation of the Climate Policy of Ukraine within the framework of participation in the global initiative “Global Methane Pledge”.
5.3. Declaration on forests and land use
At COP28, Ukraine should present a clear plan, which will demonstrate readiness to implement the provisions of the Declaration on Forests and Land Use.
5.4. Beyond Oil & Gas Alliance (BOGA)
Ukraine could join the BOGA countries – an international coalition of governments and partners working together to facilitate the phase-out of oil and gas production. The coalition includes Denmark, France, Sweden, Ireland, Costa Rica and other national and regional governments that have signed the BOGA Declaration.
5.5 Kunmin-Montreal Global Framework Agreement on Biodiversity
It is important for Ukraine to update its national strategic and planning documents and legislation as soon as possible in the field of environmental protection and adaptation to climate change. In particular, Ukraine needs to develop and approve a national strategy and action plan for biodiversity conservation by 2030 within the next 1-2 years.
About the UCN
The Ukrainian Climate Network is a coalition of 37 CSOs from all over Ukraine working on climate change. The UCM aims to unite the efforts of the public to ensure the right of citizens to a clean and safe environment. Members of the network annually participate in COP and monitor Ukraine’s position. Our partners are also the largest network of environmental NGOs – Climate Action Network, whose members directly influence the agenda of climate negotiations.
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