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Ukraine ‘Using Russia Conflict As Excuse For Climate Inaction’

Alex Pashley, Climate Home

Ukraine is using conflict with Russian-backed rebels to justify lacklustre climate proposals, according to campaigners.

The eastern European country pledged on Wednesday to cut emissions 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 in its contribution to a UN climate pact.

That is a de-facto rise of more than 40% on 2012 levels of 402 million tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent, as the country’s emissions plummeted with the fall of the Soviet Union.

Running to five pages, the climate plan included little detail on policies to back up the target.

The Poroshenko government said it would revise the pledge “after the restoration of its territorial integrity and state sovereignty”.

National pledges form the basis of a climate agreement set to be signed off by 195 countries in Paris in December.

Russia absorbed Crimea after a plebiscite in March 2014, with sporadic conflict with pro-Kremlin rebels in the East occurring until this month’s ceasefire.

Cement and steel were needed to rebuild railways and oil pipelines destroyed by fighting which had hit 20% of its “economic potential”, the communication read. Unrest in the industrial heartland Donbas region in the East has put power stations and coal mines out of action.

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