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COP26: Ukraine aims for 2035 coal phaseout as more European nations join alliance

Highlights

Part of wider planned energy reform in Ukraine

Poland also joins PPCA, little details as yet

West Europe leads on coal phase-outs

  • Author
  • Andreas Franke
  • Editor
  • Richard Rubin
  • Commodity
  • Coal Energy Transition
  • Tags
  • Western Europe
  • Topic
  • COP26

Ukraine, which has Europe's third biggest coal-fired fleet after Germany and Poland, has committed to a target of ending coal-fired power generation by 2035 while massively investing in renewables, the Powering Past Coal Alliance said Nov. 4 at the UN Climate Change Conference.

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"Ukraine is moving towards the decarbonization of the energy sector, in particular, complete decommissioning of coal-fired thermal power plants, as well as a significant increase in renewable generation," Ukraine's energy minister, German Galuschenko, said in the statement.

"This objective, however, requires developing highly-flexible and low-carbon generation, as well as integration of energy markets of Ukraine and the EU," said Galuschenko, adding that Ukraine was working with international partners to attract investment, technology and expertise.

A government representative from the environment ministry confirmed the 2035 target date at the COP26 plenary session on phasing out coal.

Ukraine's biggest private utility DTEK is also joining the Alliance, the statement said, adding however that it was committing to powering operations without coal by 2040, not 2035.

Phaseout coalition

Greg Hands, the UK minister for clean growth, energy and climate change, said in the statement that the Powering Past Coal Alliance "is a fantastic example of how bringing together nations, regions and financial institutions can drive change so we can consign coal to history."

"The increase in global commitments to phase out coal is a huge victory to celebrate at COP26 in Glasgow," Hands added.

EU energy commissioner Kadri Simson told the COP26 coal phaseout plenary panel that the EU was focused on a just energy transition committing funds to help especially East European nations with the coal phase-out. On a global level, the EU joined the "Just Energy Partnership" with South Africa with Western Nations pledging some $8.5 billion to help decarbonize Africa's biggest coal generator.

For the EU, Croatia and Slovenia also committed to new coal-phase dates by 2033 at COP26, while Greece brought its lignite phaseout date forward to 2028.

Poland, meanwhile, joined the Alliance Nov. 4, but Poland's new environment minister, Anna Moskwa, confirmed that 2049 was the current phaseout date.

"The transformation in the coming years must, above all, be planned and fair," the minister said referring to the "social contract" between the Polish government and sector stakeholders.

Many West and Southwest European countries are leading efforts to phase-out coal with Great Britain to end coal-fired generation by 2024.

The price for year-ahead coal into Europe (CIF ARA) has almost doubled year-on-year to $113.10/mt on Nov. 3, S&P Global Platts data show.

COAL EMISSIONS FROM POWER GEN, 2020 (MIL MT CO2)

Focus on Europe
2020
Exit date
Germany
131
2038 (2035)
Poland
129
2049
Ukraine
63
2035 (2040)
Czech Republic
42
2030s
Italy
15
2025
Greece
15
2028
Hungary
5
2025
Slovakia
4
2023
Slovenia
4
2033
Croatia
1
2033
Western Europe*
275
Eastern Europe*
273
Former Soviet Union*
320

Source: S&P Global Platts Analytics