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Proposals by the Russian Social Ecological Union to the position of Russian Federation concerning elaboration of international agreement on climate change for the time period after 2012

These proposals by Russian Social Ecological Union (RSEU) are caused by the concern about the acceleration and the irreversibility of climatic changes, which may lead to catastrophic impact on the economy and population both in Russia and the whole world, if no necessary measures to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions are taken.

The RSEU is sure that the commitments to reduce greenhouse gases emissions in the agreements for the period after 2012 should be legally binding and take account for the historical responsibility and the potential for reduction of the GHG emissions by the states – signatories to the agreements.

RSEU recognises the particular significance and responsibility of Russia in terms of reducing greenhouse gases emissions for the following reasons:

  • Historically, Russia is one of the biggest greenhouse gases emitters, and is currently the third biggest producer of СО2 emissions.
  • Russia’s GHG emissions per capita are on a relatively high level.
  • Position of Russia at international negotiations on climate change is of great and even symbolic importance for states with economies in transition.

RSEU deems it necessary:

  • that Russia freezes (not to exceed) the current level of GHG emissions, which will enable Russia to take the commitment for reduction of GHG emissions by 25% of the 1990 level by the year 2020;
  • that Russia and other developed countries take long-term commitments to reduce GHG emissions by at least 80% by 2050 and present in 2009 national schemes of long-term objectives’ achievement;
  • that participants of international climate talks set the goal not to exceed global warming by 2 degrees Celsius.

In the RSEU opinion, Russia possesses necessary domestic conditions for considerable reduction of GHG emissions, including:

  • high potential for energy efficiency growth in all sectors of economy, this being a resource for reduction of energy intensity and emissions per GDP unit;
  • low specific СО2 emissions per unit of energy and heat produced at large power stations (due to use of gas and to co-generation);
  • the capability to reduce net СО2 and methane emissions by using relatively inexpensive projects and measures (in terms of cost of emissions unit reduction);
  • the capability to dramatically increase the volumes of replacement of hydrocarbon energy sources by renewable ones by means of relatively inexpensive projects.

The RSEU reckons that nuclear power may not be considered as an alternative to hydrocarbon sources within Joint Implementation Project schemes because of unsolved problems of nuclear waste disposal, high subsidies needed, danger of radiation catastrophes, as well as local contribution to climate change by thermal pollution.

The RSEU is committed to constant dialog with state authorities, the scientific community, representatives of business and other organisations on the issues of national policy on GHG emissions reduction and socio-economical adaptation to global climate change.

RSEU, Council cо-chairman Alexander Fedorov

RSEU secretariat on climate change, co-ordinator Olga Senova