Health Impacts of Coal Power Plant Emissions in Ukraine

Ukraine is home to some of the most highly emitting coal power plants in Europe and in the world. Coal-fired power plants in Ukraine are responsible for 80% of the total emissions of sulfur dioxide in Ukraine and 25% of nitrogen oxides, while there are essentially no emissions controls for sulfur and nitrogen oxides at Ukrainian coal plants. Levels of fly ash emissions are particularly high and exceed the Large Combustion Plants Directive emission limit values by up to 40 times.

8 of the 20 power plants exceeded their emissions ceilings in 2019. If the ceilings had been respected, an estimated 2,300 deaths would have been avoided. The plants expose an estimated 8.7 million people to exceedances of World Health Organization air quality guidelines, even without considering the compounded impact together with other sources of emissions.

This report assesses the air quality and health impacts of Ukraine’s coal-fired power generation using the atmospheric chemical-transport model for the European region and WHO recommendations for health impact assessment of air pollution in Europe.