Russian commitments on GHG emission cuts remains unchanged, bud insufficient

On 18 February, the Russian President held a Meeting on climate change. Dmitry Medvedev called to make right conclusions from the failure of the Copenhagen Conference in December last year in Copenhagen. The head of the state noted that the absence of a result in Copenhagen is not a reason to sit back now and do nothing.

The President underlined that: “We are going to improve our energy efficiency and reduce our emissions regardless of whether or not there is an international agreement. This is in our own interest from both an economic and environmental point of view. Russia’s goal remains unchanged – to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent, based on the 1990 level, by 2020. This is a realistic goal and we can achieve it if we make the necessary structural changes to our economy.”

The President stated: “We are going to improve our energy efficiency and reduce our emissions regardless of whether or not there is an international agreement. This is in our own interest from both an economic and environmental point of view. Russia’s goal remains unchanged – to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent, based on the 1990 level, by 2020. This is a realistic goal and we can achieve it if we make the necessary structural changes to our economy.”

Concluding his speech, Dmitriy Medvedev said: “Climate policy is a matter for the Government, the local authorities, and business, and not just the preserve of scholars and essayists writing their thoughts on this subject. I therefore expect all of us to make an effort in this respect. This will also help to create a positive image of our country with regard to climate issues, and this is also something we need.”

Russian NGOs claim the announced Russian commitments on GHG reductions insufficient, because it actually means considerable growth of HGH emissions from the current level. Important is the emission dynamics as well. Russian NGOs consider it possible and necessary to reach the peak of emissions in 2015 with their subsequent decrease.

Full text of the President's speech at the Meeting on Climate Change on 18 February 2010: http://www.kremlin.ru/news/6914