In March 2016 members of Bryansk NGO "Viola" prepared and carried out announcement of the All-Russian days of actions for climate protection within the international SPARE project. New Program " Climate Ambassadors" was presented to ecologists, members of non-governmental organizations, teachers, students within three days. Actions took place on the basis of educational institutions. Participants got advice on holding actions. Winners of SPARE competitions told about their experience. The new Program arouse a great interest.
More than 6 regions , 12 districts and cities, several universities and colleges, 35 schools, 600 kindergartens, schoolchildren and students took part in the All-Russian days of actions of "Climate Ambassadors" in Central Federal District of Russia.
The first meeting of the “Platform of BRICS Green Technologies” took place in St. Petersburg in the early April. Financing was one of the key topics of the meeting; however, Russia is not yet ready to receive investments for implementation of green technologies.
Moscow teachers got acquainted with the new program "Climate Ambassadors" at a meeting of the Association of Environmental Educators of Moscow. Schools have received information materials in the thematic mailing lists. Members of SPARE school projects made up the volunteers available and scientists were invited to the "climate messengers"program to become partners in the Program coordinated by The Phenological of Russian Geographical Society.
European Directors suspend AGM in Carlingford to join anti-fracking protest outside Belfast Drilling at Woodburn Forest will ruin the drinking water reservoir, nature and climate
Friends of the Earth Directors from 25 countries are breaking off their AGM in Carlingford to travel across the border to a controversial oil and gas exploration site outside Belfast where a drilling rig was brought onsite yesterday. Local campaigners opposed to fracking are going to court on Thursday to seek an injunction to stop the company from going ahead with drilling. The drilling site is very close to a reservoir that supplies drinking water to thousands of homes.
April 26 marked 30 years since the Chernobyl NPS nuclear disaster. The events which had taken place in spring 1986 are listed in the world history as a major nuclear catastrophe. Despite the fact that the world community has acknowledged the dangers of nuclear energy, attempts to include NPSs in the list of possible ways for greenhouse gas emission reduction never stop. The nuclear power generation industry cannot help solving the problem: it only creates new ones, experts and representatives of public environmental organizations are sure.
Along with over 170 other countries, Russia signed the Paris Agreement – the new international climate agreement due to replace the Kyoto protocol – at a ceremony held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. This day will be remembered for the highest number of countries that signed an international agreement on day one.
This Earth Day, April 22, 2016, marks the beginning of the Week of Action to protect the Climate, a Climate Ambassadors campaign, created by the Russian Social Ecological Union’s Climate Secretariat, the SPARE program, and Friends of the Baltic NGO. From April 22 to May 1, in 15 regions of Russia there will be classes, open lectures and interactive lessons held for people of all ages, as well as local actions to support simple solutions to tackling climate change.
In the course of the World Economic Forum in the end of January in Davos, establishment of the Global Commission on Business and Sustainable Development was announced. Companies which join the global events on the planet’s natural resources protection climate problems solving might get huge benefits and protect their long-term result rating, economists say. Climate-related business initiatives started to appear in Russia.
In the present year, carbon intensity of the internal regional product (IRP) should turn into one of the indexes of regional authority’s efficiency. Representatives of public environmental organizations welcome implementation of the data reporting on greenhouse gas emissions; however, they believe that the effectiveness would go higher if regions acquire financial incentives for realization of their plans besides the only moral support.
Scholars of the Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT, Finland) have developed a model for Russia and Central Asian countries which proves the possibility of implementing operation of energy systems at the account of renewable energy sources. By experts’ opinion, transfer of the region to 100% consumption of renewable energy by 2030 is an absolutely realistic goal.
Scientists from the South Ural State University developed a system that will allow Russia to cover Crimean energy demand by using wind power installations within the next 5 to 7 years.
Despite what skeptics used to say about the negative effect of cheaper oil on renewable energy development, last year’s investments into renewables broke the record by reaching US$ 329 billion. World energy trends should be taken into account when developing the Russian energy strategy, say Russian environmental NGOs.
Energy Efficiency is Russia’s Largest, Cleanest and Cheapest Energy Source. Outcomes of State Program and Public Information Campaign
The end of the public campaign coincided with the wrap-up of a five-year long implementation of the state program "Energy Saving and Energy Efficiency for the Period until 2020". The outcomes of the program are rather modest. Starting in 2015, state finances have been cut, while the main support is going to the coal industry. The forecasted amount of energy to be saved by means of the state program was comparable to total energy generated by the country’s largest power stations! Energy efficiency could have become an alternative to fossil fuels and the dangerous nuclear power, yet so far, its potential remains untapped.
During the climate conference in Paris, several influential financial organizations, along with heads of states and corporate CEOs made a public statement to support putting a price tag on carbon. However, the international community has mixed feelings about carbon trade.
Overview of climate actions in the regions of Russia within the implementation of the Russian Federation Climate Doctrine
In 2014 and 2015, the all-Russia public organization “Social Ecological Union” (RSEU) has carried out surveys in Russian regions on the results of implementation of the RF Climate Doctrine. Letters with requests for providing information had been sent to all regions of Russia.
The new international agreement will replace in 2020 the Kyoto Protocol and outline the major directions for countries’ cooperation on adaptation and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. However, from the viewpoint of the most vulnerable countries, public organizations, and even some business people, so far the Agreement gives no guarantees of slowdown of climate changes, nor it resolves issues of assistance to countries which are suffering from climatic outcomes the most. For Russia, the new Agreement might become a catalyst for modernization of its economy if mechanisms of priority support to energy efficiency and the green energy will work.
Presentation of the Russian Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology at the СОР-21 Climate Negotiations
On December 9, RF Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology Sergey Donskoy made a presentation at the press-conference within the frame of the UN COP-21 Climate Conference in Paris. The Minister presented Russia’s outcomes and plans on accounting and regulation of greenhouse gas emissions, development of energy efficiency and no-carbon energy generation; unfortunately, he had included in the latter major hydro power energy production and nuclear power stations.
On December 7, within the frame of the UN СОР-21 Climate Conference in Paris, a press-conference with Anatoly Chubais, Director of the Rosnano State Corporation, took place. He presented the Rosnano’s view on the role of “clean materials” in the reduction of greenhouse emissions. According to Chubais, along with energy efficiency and renewable energy, the “clean materials” based on nanotubes can contribute up to 22% in emission reduction; estimates of the Center for Energy Efficiency confirm this.
On December 4, the Day of Indigenous Small-Numbered Peoples of the North of the Russian Federation took place in the unrestricted zone of the COP21 Negotiations Complex which all interested parties can have free access to. Indigenous ethnic groups from Yakutia, the Amur River, and Chukotka regions told how they suffer because of the climate change and how their traditions accounting of thousand years cannot help them to survive under the new conditions.
On December 5 and 6, the “World Village of Alternatives”, an enormous expo-style event showcasing alternative climate-related solutions for settlements took place in Montreuil, a municipality in the Eastern part of the “big Paris”, as part of the UN Climate Summit, COP21.
On December 4, the official Russian delegation organized an event within the frame of COP-21entitled “The Role of Russian Forests in Adsorbing Greenhouse Gases: Policies and Actions”. Russia has 70% of all boreal forests and 25% of world forest resources. The policy of forest preservation and restoration and efficient forest management plays a great role in reduction of concentration of greenhouse gases: if we do not do this, the absorbing capacity of forests might go down to zero.
Arkhangelsk Pulp and Paper Mill was ranked best among Russian companies in terms of climate responsibility, based on their performance in 2015. This came as the result of CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) evaluation, an international project that makes data on carbon emissions public.
Peat bogs play an important role in climate regulation. If peatlands are in a live wet status, they can efficiently preserve the carbon. More than this, when drained peatlands are moistened again, carbon dioxide emissions go down. Drained peatlands emit disproportionally more of carbon dioxide then any other type of land using. Experts invited by the Nordic Council of Ministers told this at the Paris COP-21 negotiations on climate changes.
On November 29th in Paris the climate negotiations started - Conference of Parties under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change COP-21. This year 195 countries have to sign the comprehensive agreement for the period after 2020, which will largely determine the future of our planet. 40 thousand participants will arrive to Paris of which 20 thousand - are representatives of the official delegations. For the first time at the Climate Summit, there is a large number of top officials - 150 Heads of State on November 30th spoke at a special inauguration meeting at the COP 21, among whom was the President of Russia V. Putin.
France is expecting Russia’s support in preparation of the new climate agreement during the upcoming Conference of Parties to UNFCCC (COP21). Ségolène Royal, the French Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, handed the invitation to this event to President Putin, on behalf of the French President François Hollande.
Statement of Special Representatiove of President on the Climate issue on the key points of COP-21/CP-11 is published.
The Russian Social-Ecological Union and many its member organizations have joined the appeal to delegations to the UN Climate conference in Paris. The letter was prepared by the Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact and some other international NGOs and sets forth ten reasons why climate initiatives should not include large hydropower projects.
The Appeal here
The upcoming UN climate conference in Paris can become a turning point for the international climate negotiations. Parties to the UN Convention on Climate Change intend to sign a new global agreement before the 21st session ends on December 11.
On November 2-3, 2015, a media tour dedicated to the development of renewable energy sources (RESs) and energy efficiency took place in St. Petersburg. Journalists were shown examples of RESs based on solar, wind power, and geothermal energy. They saw an example of energy efficient renovation of a standard high-rise building of the 137 series carried out through joint efforts of homeowners and an energy service company.
Workshop for teachers in St.Petersburg: «Eco-management in schools and simple solutions for energy efficiency and saving resources”
Workshop was organized by Friends of the Baltic NGO within SPARE project and 10th all-Russian seminar “Environmental education for sustainable development – contribution to the future” held by St.Petersburg Academy for post-graduate pedagogical education with cooperation of Committee for Education, Committee for nature use and environmental protection, Committee of State Duma on environment, Commission foe environment of St.Petersburg legistlative assembly, and many other educational, business, NGO and other organizations.
Another round of climate negotiations within the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change finished in Bonn, Germany. One of its main objectives was to facilitate the preparation of the text of the future Paris agreement, which is due to replace the Kyoto protocol. The draft document became shorter, yet the contradictions did not decrease, in neither number, nor magnitude
RSEU Conference “Climate and Energy – Solutions for the Future”, St. Petersburg, October 26-28, 2015
The 8th all-Russian conference took place in suburban St.Petersburg from October 26 to 28 under the title “Climate and Energy – Solutions for the Future”, and brought together RSEU members from all over the country, including experts and young ecoactivists. The conference included sessions dedicated to climate and energy as well as nuclear safety. The conference adopted the unified position of Russian environmental NGOs for the upcoming UNFCCC negotiations in Paris.
Climatic anomalies in moderate latitudes of the Asia-Pacific region, their linkages and the impact on aquatic systems in Siberia and Far East
The different scales of regional climate change in temperate latitudes of the Asia-Pacific region marked change in climatic conditions at the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries in half a century time scales of 50-60 years, as well as inter-annual and multi-year fluctuations that depend on the phase of half a century of hesitation and under certain conditions can lead to an increase in the frequency of extreme climatic events.
The climate adaptation strategy of St.Petersburg by 2030 was presented last month at the Public Environmental Council of St.Petersburg City Government. The strategy outlines the scope of actions and infrastructural changes that are necessary to tackle the effects of climate change, such as floods, inundations and disruption of municipal services.
The problem of climate change was one of the key topics at the 70th session of the UN General Assembly held this September. Leaders of 193 countries, including Russia, have announced their positions on ways to sustainable development.
Support measures for renewable energy sources that currently exist in Russia do not ensure either the fulfilment of investment expectations of on-going projects, or any interest of investment professionals in launching new ones. This is the opinion expressed by the participants of a recently held conference titled “Prospects for the development of renewable energy in Russia: new stage of development or a pause?” In order to facilitate the development, the approaches to requirements for renewable energy objects have to become more flexible, both experts and environmental NGOs agree.
The economic conditions have changed – both in Russia and the rest of the world, and this situation is presenting us fresh opportunities to develop energy efficiency. This idea was expressed numerous times during the discussions on energy efficiency that were held at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2015. The regions can help facilitate the growth, yet the Government must not cut funding of energy efficiency projects, say Russian environmental NGOs.
In late July 2015, Russia became the member of IRENA, the International Renewable Energy Agency. Environmental NGOs hope that this is going to help boost Russia’s renewable energy sector development.
The terminology related to climate change can bring a headache even to a specialist who is already familiar with climate and energy issues, let alone a person, who’s only just developed an interest in the theme. The Climate Secretariat of Russian Social Ecological Union continues with the series of articles under the heading “Complicated Things Explained Simply” and this time explains, what is the thing called INDC – a key part of the UN climate change negotiation process.
When reading articles on climate change, you often come across difficult terminology. The terminology might be confusing even to the leading climate change and energy experts, let alone a person, who is only just getting interested in the theme. To help tackle the subject, the climate secretariat of Russian Social Ecological Union (RSEU) launches a series of articles under the heading “Complicated Things Explained Simply”. In the opening article, we try to understand the UN climate change negotiations process.
Energy efficiency was one of the main topics of the climate conference that took place in Bonn, Germany. Experts who took part in the technical meeting of the past negotiation session set a task for the governments of the world – to reduce the cities’ energy consumption on an urgent basis. This challenge is extremely actual for the Russian cities.
The work on the new international agreement that is due to be adopted at the climate summit in Paris in the end of this year continues. What are the main points of the new document? Are politicians’ plans close to what is expected from them by lay citizens? We decided to compare the preliminary text of the future agreement to the opinion of lay people who took part in global citizens’ consultations on climate and energy that took place as part of the global World Wide Views on Climate and Energy initiative
The main concern of the book are climatic systems feedback mechanisms and their probable influence on climate in connection with the anthropogenic transformations in the bed surfaces underlaying hydroelectric dams in the process of their construction and maintenance. Also important is boreal forests extinction in the catchment basins of rivers under regulation.
Climate variability is taken into account in the design and operation of hydroelectric dams and is founded on environmental regulations and legislation on safety for hydro-technical buildings.
Climate events related to disasters in different parts of the world confirm that studies discussed in the book are of burning importance.
The book could be of interest to specialists in geo- ecology as well as to students of environmental departments of universities and a wide audience concerned with these problems.
The recently published IMF report reveals data demonstrating that global fossil fuel subsidies are much greater than previously thought. The IMF calls the revelation “shocking” and says the figure is an “extremely robust” estimate of the true cost of fossil fuels. Subsidies must be re-routed from fossils towards clean energy sources, say environmental NGOs.
The report, prepared by Clmate Secretariat of Russian Social Ecological Union, analyzes the existing potential and nesessary conditions for more wide RE use in the Russian regions, and nesesary supporting solutions on national, regional and local level.
Text of the report (in Russian)
Russia’s First Deputy Minister of Energy Alexey Teksler, during his speech at the UN Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) Forum that took place in Austria earlier this month, proclaimed Russia’s intention to increase renewable energy production 10 times. Russian environmental NGOs say that the country’s real renewable energy potential exceeds the announced level by far, yet the effort demonstrated by the authorities in this respect has been insignificant.
A conference titled Petersberg Climate Dialogue took place in Berlin. It was the continuation of the Petersberg Dialogue forum, initiated by Vladimir Putin and Gerhard Schroeder back in 2006 to promote cooperation between Russia and Germany in all areas. The conference this year was dedicated to the preparations to the UN climate summit to take place in Paris in the end of 2015. In order for Paris summit to become a success it is necessary that climate change discussion get more informal and active, say environmental NGOs.
Strategies of response action to climate change on different levels (federal, regional and municipal) will allow us to lower the risk of damage from negative effects of climate change. This is the conclusion made by the authors of the recently published Second Assessment Report on climate change and its effects on the territory of Russian Federation, by RosHydromet. Environmental NGOs make it clear that adaptation and mitigation measures must become an inevitable part of Russia’s national and regional policies.
On June 6, public consultations with the world’s citizens took place all over the world. They were focused on the topic of climate and energy and were part of the global World Wide Views on Climate and Energy, that unfolded in the run-up to the next round of UN climate talks in Paris later this year.
The 42nd session of the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Chance) Subsidiary Bodies opened in Bonn, Germany. The main task that lies in front of the negotiators is to simplify the agreed-upon text of the agreement due to be adopted in Paris, later in December this year.
One hundred fifty human rights and environmental NGOs from all over the world petition the Russian authorities to free Evgeny Vitishko immediately.
On 15 April 2015, the Kirsanovsky District Court in Tambov Region rejected Evgeny Vitishko’s request for parole. The official grounds for this denial was based on a number of reprimands that Vitishko received while at the colony. However, some of those ‘violations’ did not happen; others are far-fetched.
Having analyzed the last year’s economic and environmental outcomes, the International Energy Agency came to a sensational conclusion. According to the experts, the economic growth of 2014 was not followed by any growth of greenhouse gases emissions. Environmental NGOs say that such an unexpected conclusion is yet another proof that it is possible to have economic development with a zero emissions growth.
According to the British Petroleum analysts, the authors behind the new updated edition of the Energy Outlook 2035 report, the most alarming current trend is a fast redistribution of increasing energy flows from West to East. Developing countries with their growing economies have a special role in this process. Whether the world manages to opt for global climate stability largely depends on the choices made by China, India and Russia.
According to the scientists at the World Resource Institute (WRI), the number of the people on the planet that are affected by floods every year is going to increase threefold in the coming fifteen years. Environmental NGOs say that the leaders of the international community must focus on the mitigation of climate change effects and the adaptation to natural disasters.
By 2020 most companies of the world may shift to a 100% renewable energy consumption and reduce their GHG emissions to zero by 2050, say Track 0 experts, who just released a publication on green goals for businesses.
This past February marked the 10th anniversary of the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol, the world’s first emission reduction treaty. Experts differ in their evaluations of the document’s performance. However, environmental NGOs say that this first ever climate agreement proved to be a good tool that allowed to test if countries are fit to respond to the climate challenge.
Analyzing the results of the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, many experts agree that a major shift in guiding principles is happening in the world economy. However, according to environmental NGOs, Russia keeps staying away from the latest global economic trends, and its development is primarily moved by inertia.
Many people think of global warming as a positive process that is going to reduce the amount of snowfall, the number of snowstorms and the overall occurrence of extreme cold. MIT scientists debunk this myth and say that most regions in the Northern Hemisphere, including Russia, will be hit by heavier snowfall and extreme cold as the result of climate change.
The large drop in oil prices will change the future of our climate, experts claim. If oil and gas consumption does not go down, we are bound to see the melting of ice caps and glaciers with the consequent sea level rise and an array of climate disasters by 2050. Experts and environmental NGOs are certain that now is time to get rid of the oil addiction and to take advantage of the current negative economic situation.
February 18, 2015 will be a day of solidarity actions to commemorate the one year imprisonment of eco-activist Evgeny Vitishko
Russian Social-Ecological Union / Friends of the Earth Russia calls for solidarity actions on behalf of environmental prisoner Evgeny Vitishko, board member of RSEU regional group Environmental Watch on North Caucasus (EWNC).
To summarize the outcomes of 2014, the Climate Secretariat presents a top-5 of the year’s most important climate-related discoveries. Not all of them are actual scientific discoveries, strictly speaking. Rather, they are both the realizations that humanity has matured enough to come to, and naked facts - that present a serious dilemma for both Russia and the rest of the world.
Climate talks in Geneva began on February 8th gathering all countries to negotiate on climate change. Here countries will make the first draft of the global climate agreement before the next round of talks in June. All this is happening when media are full of news like: 2014 was the hottest year in history of research, largest companies refuse to investment in fossil fuel and energy prices from renewable energy caught up with oil and gas.
Traditionally, at the end of the year 2014 we made an overview of its most important outcomes. RSEU Climate Secretariat highlighted a few events that took place in Russia last year that seem to increase our country’s chances for green development.
ClimateProgress analysts state that despite the whirlwind of negative events that severely affected the world economy the year 2014 was marked by a number of significant positive events in terms of renewable energy development. According to environmental NGOs, these positive technological accomplishments have the ability to create the foundation for a stable world economy.
The large drop in oil prices will change the future of our climate, experts claim. If oil and gas consumption does not go down, we are bound to see the melting of ice caps and glaciers with the consequent sea level rise and an array of climate disasters by 2050. Experts and environmental NGOs are certain that now is time to get rid of the oil addiction and to take advantage of the current negative economic situation.
In the beginning of December, the Head of the Russian Government Dmitry Medvedev approved the implementation plan of the state program ‘Energy Efficiency and Energy Development’ for 2014-2016, which implies an approximately seven billion rubles increase in financing for energy projects. However, just a few days later, a Ministry of Energy representative declared that in the next three years the state support for regional energy efficiency programs was going to wind down to zero.
The current climate challenge is an opportunity, say the authors of the recently published New Climate Economy report, presented at the UN Climate Summit in Lima, Peru. Politicians do not need to choose between the economic growth and fighting climate change. What they have to do is just to make a bet on low-carbon development.
Experts are positive that forests will play a significant role in the new climate agreement. Russia, being so rich in forests, is interested in a proper inventory and accounting system for its forestry and land use, say Environmental NGOs. However, now is the time to create real economic mechanisms that are instrumental in forest conservation and restoration.
The participants of the recently concluded UN Climate Talks in Lima, Peru, eventually managed to come to terms on the draft agreement. The deal that emerged early on Sunday found a solution by changing a single word – “shall” to “may”, with regard to the obligations of the Parties. Environmental NGOs do welcome the progress of the negotiations, but believe there will be no real progress without fleshing out the text with something more specific.
On the last day of Lima climate talks, Russia held an event titled ‘Goals and Objectives of the Russian Climate Policy up to 2020 and Prospects for 2030’. The same day Russia along with Ukraine and Belarus received the Fossil of the Day public anti-award for unconstructive behavior during the negotiations.
The first week of Lima talks did not result in any progress regarding the creation of the Green Climate Fund, and the adaptation issues were none of their priority. The new typhoon in the Philippines is symbolic of the cynicism of such an approach. The countries’ commitments to reduce their GHG emissions have failed to include any specific detail. The fossil fuel lobby keeps looking for loopholes to continue the fossil fuel industry development within the new climate agreement’s framework.
At the UN climate talks in Lima, Russian delegation continues to insist on a revision of the lists of developed and developing countries under the Convention on Climate Change. The statement by Alexander Bedritsky at the Kremlin website shows that Russia expects from other countries ambition to contribute in reducing emissions and wants to remain voluntary donor for adaptation funds. Interests of Gazprom represented in the official delegation of the Russian Federation attracted attention from observers.
In December, representatives of the states meet in Lima (Peru) at the UN Climate Conference - COP 20. The outcome of the event should be a draft of a comprehensive agreement to be signed in 2015. Representatives of public environmental organizations urge countries to work together to prepare an ambitious and meaningful new agreement.position NGO Lima COP
The Position of Russian Environmental NGOs to the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Climate Change COP 20, Lima, Peru, December 2014
Environmental non-governmental organisations (NGOs) consider it necessary to adopt a strong global climate agreement in December 2015, as set out in the documents of the UN Convention on Climate Change. UN climate conference in 2014 in Lima, COP-20, shall make a practical step towards the conclusion of such an agreement.
In the near future, solar energy can become a real alternative to traditional energy sources. This is the conclusion made by participants of the round table "Switch on the sun - live comfortably! Restyling Energy in Southern Urals," which took place in Chelyabinsk and was dated for the World Energy Saving Day.
On 27-28 October, the Russian Social Ecological Union held the 7th Annual Conference on Climate and Energy. The conference speakers believe that there are no major barriers to implementation of energy efficiency in the country, it is enough to eliminate energy backwardness at all levels.
All conference presentations (in Russian)
The Russian Social Ecological Union has held the seminar "Climate change: impacts and adaptation, approaches to regional climate strategies" on 27 October, 2014, in St. Petersburg. The seminar showed expert opinions on risks and damages from climate change, and the necessary adaptation measures, especially in coastal regions. The Russian Social Ecological Union provided an overview of climate programs in Russian regions and prepared the Position for the upcoming UN climate negotiations in Lima
All seminar presentations (in Russian)
Three quarters of Russians believe climate change is a threat to human existence, and one third is absolutely sure of this, according to results of a public opinion poll by the Global Challenges Foundation in Stockholm. Representatives of non-governmental environmental organizations believe that the climate change comes out of the sphere of scientific discussion and becomes a pressing issue for residents of Russia.
Comparative efficiencies of different measures to combat climate change are unclear. The Economist has presented an assessment for effectiveness of various efforts to prevent emissions of greenhouse gases. The Russian Social Ecological Union believes that the key way to solve the problem of climate change is combining development of a variety of renewable energy sources and reduction of energy consumption due to energy conservation and efficiency.
Banks are one of the biggest sources of funds for promotion of energy efficiency programs. A substantial part of the activities in this direction can be carried out by energy service contracts - the potential of this market is at least 500 billion roubles a year. According to the Russian Social Ecological Union, the key condition for achieving the Government's objectives for energy efficiency is cooperation between the state, the public, businesses and banks.
CONSERVATION OF THE RUSSIAN NATURE, PROTECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH OF THE POPULATION – THIS IS NOT POLITICAL ACTIVITY!
Russian public organization «Socio-Ecological Union» is concerned by the recent increase of pressure on active environmental and health protection non-governmental organizations and their leaders, by assigning them the status of foreign agents. RSEU undelines that environmental NFGO activity is conducted purely in the interests of Russia and its sustainable future, an essential key to which is a healthy population, abundant natural resources and a clean environment.
RSEU has sent this statement to the President and copy to the Council on Human Rights at the President.
Before Ban Ki-moon’s climate summit, which will take place in New York in September, four countries with developing economies that are Russia’s colleagues at BRICS claimed to be ahead of developed countries in fighting climate change.
Now is not the best time for the Russian economy. According to experts, Russia ‘owes’ the economic growth slowdown to its abundance of natural resources. Non-government environmental organizations believe that natural riches should encourage the country to develop, and gradual abandonment of subsidies to fossil fuel and support of renewable sources will become a serious incentive for the economy’s development, have a positive climatic effect, and improve the political image.
The Ministry of Energy is discussing regulations that will make the conditions for renewable energy sources on the Russian market more comfortable. If amendments to the existing regulations are approved, way to the Russian market will be open for foreign manufacturers, for which requirements on facility localization are an obstacle. Non-government environmental organizations believe that supporting the energy alternative requires a flexible and balanced approach.
Economic sanctions are beginning to affect the Russian power sector. How much can the ‘energy isolation’ change the Russian energy strategy?
The UN climate conference that ended recently in Bonn may become a turning point for the negotiations, says Christiana Figueres. The UNFCCC Executive Secretary believes that countries have expressed strong willingness to cooperate in the preparation of a new climate agreement. According to Climate Secretariat of Russian Socio-Ecological Union, there are some reasons for optimism concerning future decisions. However, the process is moving unacceptably slowly.
Based on the conclusions of the G7 energy ministers meeting in May, the leaders of the group in the resolution adopted in Brussels in early June promised to build "more competitive, diversified, flexible and low-carbon energy system" in their own countries.
Two positive signals simultaneously sounded on the eve of the ministerial meeting, which opens today in Bonn (Germany) within the framework of the UN Climate Conference. Influential U.S. and China officials announced ambitious plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These statements of the largest carbon emitting countries can become a good signal to leaders of other countries participating in the climate negotiations.
Japanese scientists do not consider nuclear energy as a way of addressing climate change. Representatives of environmental organizations promote the same point of view for many years. They are confident that nuclear energy is too dangerous to be an energy alternative.
The Russian Ministry of Natural Resources published the Report on implementation in 2013 of the comprehensive plan for implementation of the Climate Doctrine of the Russian Federation for the period until 2020. The document covers a range of issues related to climate change. However, according to representatives of environmental organizations, it lacks specificity in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
European Parliament has approved a compromise proposal to extend the program to control emissions of greenhouse gases from aviation for two years. Until the end of 2016, carriers will buy quotas for flights within the EU, Norway and Iceland, and since 2017 the requirements for purchase of quotas will be applied to all flights within the EU. Meanwhile, the active opponent to the European air initiative - Russia - is preparing a set of national measures to limit greenhouse gas emissions from civil aviation.
Russia has stated that the goal of keeping global warming within 2 degrees in the new climate agreement shall not be a limiting factor. Representatives of environmental organizations believe that the agreement, which must be adopted in 2015, shall fix considerable and ambitious economic mechanisms to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.
In late May, the leaders of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan plan to sign a number of agreements, including the Agreement on the Eurasian Economic Union (Customs Union). Representatives of environmental organizations think that the unified economic policy pays insufficient attention to environmental issues, sustainable development and climate change. NGOs has approved the Position of environmental NGOs on environmental and energy policies in the Eurasian Economic Union/Custom Union
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev ordered on April 2, 2014 to provide reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 by no more than 75% of the volume in 1990. Representatives of environmental organizations have long insisted on controlling greenhouse gas emissions and on introducing emission charges.
Despite the decline in investment in renewable energy by 14 %, almost half of all electric power plants of the world built in 2013 work on "green" energy. According to annual UNEP report cost of solar energy compared to 2009 fell by 25 %, and wind energy - by 53 %. Renewable energy market of the Russian Federation as a whole is estimated at 8.5-10 billion euros.
An internationally recognized bat expert and zoologist, Suren Gazaryan led multiple campaigns exposing government corruption and illegal use of federally protected forestland along Russia’s Black Sea coast near the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics.
The press conference "Climate Change - new risks and potential possibilities"was held in St. Petersburg INTERFAX agency on the April 7th. The experts presented their comments to the 2nd part of the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The report was submitted in Yokohama, 31st of March 2014. The world's leading climate scientists said to the governments that our society is not prepared for life in the face of rising risks related to the climate change. Now is a time for urgent actions.
In the Public Chamber of the RF28th of March 2014 at the round table "The role of various technologies to reduce the risks associated with the climate change"the latest data were presented, which show that the climate change is already bearing the risks and damages.There will not be any beneficiary of climate change, and we must act to keep the situation stable as much as we can. Experts suggest low-carbon development scenarios for RF. Russian Socio-Ecological Union presented the information campaign "Energy Efficiency - the largest, cleanest and cheapest source of energy in Russia" as a social tool for promoting low-carbon solutions.
International "Ecodefence" Group has released a report "Overview of options for introducing renewable energy in the Russian Federation." Environmentalists believe that the potential for renewable energy is present in all regions of Russia, and without development of renewables the country and regions are doomed to technological backwardness, significant economic costs and a severe burden on the environment.
The Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation has started discussions of the "Energy Strategy of Russia until 2035." The last update of the document was made five years ago. The Climate Secretariat of the Social Ecological Union comments the paragraphs of the Energy Strategy, most important from the standpoint of public environmental organizations.
International conference of Climate Action Network of Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia was held from 19 till 23 of February in Tbilisi. Climate Secretariat of Russian Socio-Ecological Union has participated in this event. Public stands for ambitious national CO2 reduction targets corresponding to global challenges to slow down the climate change. For Russia greenhouse gas emissions reduction should be a priority in the energy sectordevelopment.
Action will be held as demonstrations, pickets and flash-mobs in different cities during 7 days. The goal of this action is to draw attention to the terribly unjust adjudication - 3 years in prison, that Eugene Vitishko got for protecting nature. The RSEU has adopted a Statement on the Eugene Vitishko.
The Regulations for generating facilities changed on February 1, 2014, simplifying the procedure for qualification of the generation operating on renewable energy sources (RES) at wholesale and retail electricity markets. The time period for companies entering the market could reduce by several times. Representatives of environmental organizations hope that the number of barriers to development of energy alternatives in Russia will reduce and bring concrete results.
ОNatural hazardous events were registered in more subjects of the Russian Federation in 2013 than previously. Experts say that the "nervosity" of the environment is growing. Representatives of environmental organizations and scientists are confident that prompt action on adaptation to climate change may reduce the impact of these trends.
Speaking at an economic forum in Davos, the World Bank President Jim Yong Kim called the coming year "the year of fight with climate change" and called on financial leaders to take responsibility for this fight.
The end of the year is usually the time to evaluate the year. In 2013 the concentration of climate-warming carbon dioxide in the atmosphere passed the milestone level of 400 parts per million for the first time in human history. How much more dioxide emissions people can release in the atmosphere without speeding up dangerous climate change? Scientists have concluded that more than half of the "carbon budget" has already been spent. There are no doubts now that the observed global warming is man’s handiwork, and there is no time left to think, whether to act.
The authors of "Outlook for Energy Development in the World and in Russia until 2040" come to the following conclusion: "Russia can no longer live at the expense of the income from hydrocarbon exports. The main task for the next 25 years is radical increase in efficiency of public and corporate governance, including improving energy efficiency of the economy."
RusHydro experts do not agree with calculations of the Russian Government on development of renewable energy sources - they consider the plans overstated. Meanwhile another state corporation, RUSNANO, plans to double its assets in RES, and the industry refuses to centralized energy and builds its own power plants.
Russian Gazprom, Lukoil, and Rosneft entered the list of 90 companies in the world, which are "responsible" for climate change. Researchers studied the world largest "pollutants" of the environment with emissions of CO2 and methane in the last 260 years.
Russia is the sixth world largest coal producing country and the third coal exporter after Indonesia and Australia. Experts note activation of the coal industry - one of the "climate- unfriendly" segments of the energy market. Representatives of environmental organizations believe that the coal industry must be radically diversified, and "green" energy shall be developed instead.
Russian Socio-Ecological Union endorsed the statement of environmental organizations addressed to the World Bank. The public calls to help the poor of the world, instead of promoting giant energy projects of international corporations under the guise of good intentions. Instead of financing large-scale hydropower and other megaprojects of energy corporations, it is necessary to invest in green energy and sustainable development of local communities!
In the end of the year 2013 the approaches to Climate Strategy for Saint-Petersburg were presented at the seminar, organized by City Natural Resources Committee in cooperation with Friends of the Baltic non-governmental organization. Experts presented data on the climate change consequences in the region, and proposals to urban environment adaptation to these consequences. This is a pioneer step in Russia to create a program for adaptation to various aspects of climate change consequences, but it still doesn’t include the low-carbon development plan.
Russian official position at the climate negotiations tends to extremes: either it cannot be heard or it is impossible to remain silent about it. Some experts call the Russian climate policy "window dressing." However, kingpins of the Russian climate say that the real policy is not in conversations, but in national programs. Here is the latest official information regarding the major climatic issues from A. Bedritskiy, the presidential advisor on climate.
Sustainable development in Russia in the context of climate and energy was discussed in Warsaw under the UN climate forum
Expert materials on problems and solutions in the field of climate and energy for sustainable development of Russia were presented in the final week of the UN Climate Conference in Warsaw. Damage to the Russian economy from the effects of climate change can be up to 0.7 trillion dollars a year. Actions in the field of energy efficiency shall give a real alternative to creation of new dirty power plants, harming nature and climate.
Despite the fact that the UN climate conference in Warsaw was called a failure long before its closing, its participants still managed to find compromises. During forty "overtime" hours, the negotiating parties managed to agree on damages and losses and on long-term financing.
Alexander Novak, the Russian Energy Minister, has doubts in feasibility of national plans for reduction of energy consumption. Representatives of Russian NGOs are convinced that the government shall not give up the original plans for energy efficiency - the energy saving potential is huge!
Final anti-award Fossil of the Day was held on 22nd of November during UN climate negotiations in Warsaw.
On 22nd of November presentation of the final anti-awards on the results of the Conference of Parties of the UNFCCC COP-19 took place in Warsaw. This year’s Fossil of the Year goes to Australia. The new Australian Government has won its first major international award – the Colossal Fossil. The delegation came here with legislation in its back pocket to repeal the carbon price, failed to take independent advice to increase its carbon pollution reduction target and has been blocking progress in the loss and damage negotiations.
Local observers at the climate negotiations in Warsaw, representing organizations and movements from all over the Earth, voluntarily resigned from the climate talks in Warsaw. This is done to show their disapproval with respect to countries that their inaction and lack of constructive position postpone or even make it impossible for the production of a comprehensive agreement. This is the first case of mass exodus of civil society from the climate negotiations in the history of the COP Climate negotiations.
International organizations ActionAid, Care International and WWF presented the joint report dedicated to compensation of climatic damage and loss at the UN climate conference in Warsaw. Some parties to the negotiations do not support the need for a separate international mechanism for compensation of damages - including the U.S. and Russia.
Russian Side Event on COP19: Terrestrial Ecosystems - Steppe, Peatlands and Tundra: Carbon Balance Assessment and Management
Russian Federation together with Wetlands International present outcomes of the studies of terrestrial ecosystems with high carbon content - steppe, peatlands and tundra. Special consideration is given to ongoing greenhouse gas emission assessment and mitigation projects for wetlands and tundra.
On the eve of the UN Conference of Climate Change (COP-19) in Warsaw, experts are divided in their opinions - some are very skeptical and do not hope for any results, others are optimistic. Representatives of environmental organizations are sure that "Warsaw must become a turning point in the negotiations. It is high time to move from words to actions."
The breakthrough at the global carbon market for flight charges is delayed. The ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) Assembly postponed introduction of the carbon market in this sphere for an indefinite period of time because of opposition from Russia and a number of other countries. Despite the temporary "freezing" the process, Europe does not abandon its plans – the greenhouse gas emissions charges for flights over the European Union are introduces from 1 January 2014.
The presentation of the new report of the UNO about the climate changing was held in Saint-Petersburg
On October, 28 the first in Russia presentation of 5th evaluative report of IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) was discussed in INTERFAX. That event was organized by Climatic Secretariat of the Russian Social Ecological Union and WWF, Russia.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) presented its fifth report. Instead of the sensation expected by journalists, scientists have unveiled the "quiet" and weighted data. However, the tranquility of experts is not connected with joy at the fact that the effects of climate change should not be feared.
The flood that lasted two months on the Amur River, floodings in Sochi and in the Krasnodar region, fires in Siberia – it is already not possible to ignore such unpleasant natural disasters. Experts from Roshydromet (the State Committee for Hydrometeorology) confirm that the number of abnormal natural phenomena is growing every year, and it is time for our country to prepare for severe ordeals.
“The procedural issue which had undermined last June efforts of one of the working groups at the climate negotiations in Bonn, has been once again included in the agenda of a higher level negotiations: the UN Conference in Warsaw. Observers of the climate negotiations hope that Russia and Belarus’s proposal will not create obstacles for the negotiations as was the case in the previous session.
The first contest of investment projects for power station construction on the basis of renewable energy sources has started. So far, there are far too many solar applications, a deficit of wind ones, and total absence of any applications for hydro energy facilities.
Moscow State Interest of International Relations (MGIMO) and the World Wildlife Fund published a paper with the results of their studies dedicated to the impact of the climate policies on the trade. Due to underestimation of the “green factor,” export plans of the Russian regions became quite vulnerable, Russian experts believe.
With initiative of interagency working group under the Administration of the President on questions related to climate change and provision of sustainable development, Russian residents were interviewed on climate change issue. Turned out that 1/3 of those polled Russians have no doubt that the reason for climate change is human activity.
On 21th of September the allrussian campaign «Energy efficiency - the largest, cleanest and cheapest source of energy in Russia» was launched in St. Petersburg within frameworks of the days of Europe.
During the voting at the meeting of the Commission on the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, Russia has blocked the proposal to create the world's largest polar reserve.
The Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation plans to create the map showing the potential for development of renewable energy in Russia. Until now, Russia has remained a "white spot" on the world map of energy alternatives.
Climate change is no longer an intangible and rhetorical category: it changes the economic and political map of the world. Leading insurance companies refuse to insure entire regions, referring to climate risks, and scientists argue that global warming will increase the number of wars.
The International Energy Agency stated in a special edition of its report that the "price" for delays in taking active measures against climate change by 2020 is 5 trillion dollars. The experts claim that adequate "rapid response" measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will not have negative consequences for the economy.
The U.S. and China bilaterally agreed on actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Representatives of non-governmental organizations say that Russia, being among the largest emitters, shall join the process.
Russian climate policy exists, according to the authors of the report published in the scientific bulletin of the Fridtjof Nansen Institute, but it has more "window dressing" than real action. The experts consider inadequate assessment of damage to national security, which may be caused by climate change, to be the barrier to the advancement of climate on the political agenda.
Domestic transport becomes low-carbon: Russian Railways started to use biofuels, having installed about 300 boilers for pellets. Bioenergy in the country is developing. However, alcohol is the main "competitor" for the mass production of biofuels.
The June round of UN climate talks in Bonn, which had promised to be a mediocre "technical" meeting, has become with the efforts of the Russian delegation a “deeply layered blockade.”
International experts believe that Russia would be a welcome member of the carbon market, if it changes its pride of unused emissions for modern ambitions.
Mass media all over the world are filled with news that the rate of СО2 in the atmosphere has reached its historical maximum. 97% of global research proves that mankind is to blame for the irreversible climate change, Guardian has reported recently. Environmental NGOs believe that urgent abandonment of fossil fuel in favor of renewable power and energy efficiency can mitigate the consequences of the climate change.
At a meeting with Deputy Prime Ministers, Chairman of the Russian Government Dmitry Medvedev, restated the commitment to promote ‘new’ energy again. According to Medvedev, “without due attention to the ‘new’ energy we will be hostages of the existing hydrocarbon model.” It is hard to argue with this, but it is not just outside circumstances but also ‘inner’ strife of market participants that hinder the promotion of the energy alternative in Russia.
On 8 May the "Transport and Environment" (T&E) federation published results of the study that confirmed expected benefits of the EU Fuel Quality Directive (FQD). The potential price differential between tar sands and conventional oil, resulting from the FQD, would shift investments from tar sands to lower-carbon oil sources, saving the planet up to 19Mt CO2 a year. This is equivalent to removing over 7 million cars from roads every year.
Draft amendments to the Government Decree "On Measures for Implementation of Article 6 of the Kyoto Protocol ..." proposed by the Ministry of Nature Resources removes restrictions on issuing emission reductions in an already registered projects. Despite the non-participation of Russia in the second period of the Kyoto Protocol and the absence of new joint implementation projects in this country, business aims to increase the capacity of existing opportunities, and bankers do not deny the emergence of new opportunities for creation of a carbon market.
New projects for energy-efficient renovation of old buildings may appear in St.Petersburg and Leningrad region
On 11 April, a round table "The practice of improving energy efficiency in residential buildings" took place in Kolpino, a St.Petersburg suburb. Its participants discussed options for renovation of old buildings and construction of new ones in the context of energy efficient solutions. Such reconstruction can reduce heat losses by 3 to 7 times. This supports the slogan of the Russian Socio-Ecological Union campaign: "Energy efficiency is the biggest, cheapest and most clean source of energy in Russia."
“The warming, which is a manifestation of the global trend, continues on the territory of the Russian Federation.” This is the conclusion by the authors of the annual report on the Russian climate in 2012. Representatives of environmental organizations emphasize that Russia needed serious climate programs and actions to adapt "climate-sensitive" sectors and regions to changing climate conditions.
Russia does not use its possible reserves of sustainable development. This is the conclusion by analysts of Yale University. According to the Environmental Performance Index (EPI), Russia is at the 106th place in the sustainability list. The reason is the lack of environmental policy priorities, inadequate forest management system and reliance on abundance of fossil resources.
Russia's Gazprom is in the top twenty "producers" of greenhouse gases in the world. Gazprom takes the fourth place among 347 pollutants in the list of Earth Focus Private Sector Carbon Emissions. According to the authors of the report, this list of top climate polluters shall prompt companies to act to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Russian climate policy became active lately: the first meeting of the interdepartmental working group on climate change took place, a draft of the Decree of the President of Russian Federation "On the level of greenhouse gas emissions" was published. As part of the BRICS alliance, Russia signed under the intention to develop "green economy". However, these actions cannot be named productive so far.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has placed on its website a draft Decree of the President of the Russian Federation "On the level of greenhouse gas emissions," to conduct an independent examination of corruption.
Russian Socio-Ecological Union sent comments to Ministry about unclear role of forests in the accounting system for greenhouse gas emissions.
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) presented the world's first world interactive atlas of alternative energy. Some 40 countries are participating in the project. For the time being, Russia is not able to demonstrate its energy potential on the interactive map.
Renewable energy sources will take advantage, despite the fact that their starting base is insufficient. This is the opinion from the Energy Outlook 2030 report prepared by the British Petroleum oil company. Representatives of non-governmental environmental organizations are sure that the nature of consumption and the ratio of energy sources in the global energy sector are changing in such a way that representatives of “traditional” energy can no longer ignore this fact.
The Russian President approved the Strategy for Development of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation and national security for the period up to 2020. The main national priority of the document is industrialization of the Arctic and increased use of its carbon resources rather than conservation of vulnerable Arctic environment, protection of indigenous northern peoples and adaptation of the region to climate change.
Climate change affects the seasons and the severity of the influenza epidemics, as proved by researchers from the University of Arizona. If the climate situation will evolve in the same direction, risks to human health will become stronger: epidemics will become more long-lasting, intense and will start earlier than usual.
Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan plan quadrilateral meetings to develop a coordinated position on the second period of the Kyoto Protocol. The countries are unhappy with the amendment adopted at the last climate meeting of the parties in Doha not to exceed the emission level of 2008 – 2010 during 2013 -2020, on the average. Environmental NGOs call to stop considering climate agreement as a mechanism to benefit, to refuse from the “hot air” and to take stronger commitments to reduce emissions.
In the end of 2012, the President of Russia signed the Order "On the interagency working group of the Presidential Administration of the Russian Federation on issues related to climate change and sustainable development." Representatives of environmental organizations urged the country's leadership to create such an authority to address climate change already four years ago.
Since 2013, the Russian government increased the fee for emissions through flaring more than 5% of the associated gas volume. These are the second most important anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Russia refused to participate in the second period of the Kyoto Protocol and in the JI projects. Therefore, it needs incentive tools for gas utilization projects at the national level.
The international community is not going to put up with the falling prices for carbon credits. Representatives of different countries are prepared to act for establishing appropriate prices to stimulate development of the carbon units market and to support measures for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Russian business and the environmental community are interested in creation of the internal market for emissions trading in our country, not waiting for external sanctions.
The main justified expectation of the UN climate conference in Doha was the amendment to the Kyoto Protocol that extended its time period. Continuing to keep the intrigue, Russia did not quit the Protocol, but will participate without obligation. According to the presidential adviser Alexander Bedritsky, the value of this participation is in "the system of annual reporting on emissions" ...
The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said at the Climate Forum in Doha that he will bring together world leaders in advance for negotiating the agreement of 2015, because he is afraid of a repetition of Copenhagen. What should be the climate process in the future and what place may Russia take in it?
Several analytical agencies included Russia in the list of countries consistently claiming for leadership in greenhouse gas emissions. According to representatives of environmental organisations, Russia risks becoming an outsider, if it remains the country of raw materials.
On Saturday, December 8, the Doha round of climate negotiations finally came to an end. COP18 approved Kyoto-2, but failed to provide any significant emissions cuts. Russia remains with a huge but useless amount of hot air.
On December 6 in his official COP18 speech Mr. Bedritsky, Head of the Russian delegation, confirmed the country’s intention to commit to an “up to 25%” emissions reduction from the 1990 level by 2020. This may imply both constraining the emissions to 75% of the 1990 level by 2020 and rather unrestricted emissions growth. The carry-over of 6 billion tons of Russian AAUs to the period of time until 2020, the hot air, must not substitute actual implementation of renewable energy, say NGOs.
Climate Change Performance Index was presented 3rd of December in Doha by Germanwatch and Climate Action Network-Europe. According to this Index Russian Federation is on the 56th place among 58 biggest emitters worldwide. The latest information about Russia's intention to declare the goal of 15-25% emissions reduction by 2020 indicates low ambitions, and partly explains the fact that our country is at the end of the rating.
On December the 4th during the COP18 taking place in Doha, Qatar, NGOs held a series of actions, asking the governments to solve the issue of a gigantic surplus of Kyoto emission permits (AAUs). At the moment the volume of this so-called hot air is about 13 gigatons. Russia is held accountable for around 5 of them, and it has not even announced its emissions reduction targets.
There is a vast surplus of units in Kyoto's cap-and-trade system. Russia and Ukraine spoke in favor of the carry-over of AAUs to the second commitment period of Kyoto Protocol (KP2) and beyond. If no solution for the carry-over of this surplus from commitment period to commitment period is found, countries that have put forward a target for KP2 may be under no pressure to deviate from business-as-usual emissions.
On October 19, the Fourth National Conference of the Russian Association of Wind Power Industry (RAWI) was held in Moscow. According to Ministry of regional development representative, wind energy development in Russia now is mostly depends of regional administrations. Climate change is also an additional argument for promotion of wind energy. Now 12 wind power stations (WPS) in Russia are under planning and experts say about intention to build 30 WPS more.
According to researchers at National Center for Atmospheric Research, climate change is occurring according to the worst scenarios. Representatives of Russian non-governmental environmental organizations believe that rapid climate challenges require quick response. They are sure that the Russian Federation, being one of the world's major emitters, need to urgently adopt a national strategic goal for 2050: reducing emissions by at least 50% of 1990 levels for all sources and sinks.
Limiting the volume of Russian Joint Implementation (JI) projects is not reasonable, and profit losses are clearly foreseen, if Russia does not join the second period of the Kyoto Protocol. This is the conclusion by experts from Climate Change Global Services in the report on implementation of "Kyoto projects" in Russia.
The first three days of the Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Doha (COP18) have not resulted in any significant decisions so far, as predicted. Russia is practically not ready to take part in the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. This will result both in lost opportunities for joint implementation projects and a reduced input of the country to climate mitigation. KP is losing participants, but gaining new ones –Australia announced the willing to join.
EU economic downturn has created an oversupply on the carbon market. Therefore, the European Commission restricts "free" reductions to maintain the market. According to experts, the demand for Russian potential emission reductions can be preserved only if Russia takes meaningful goals to reduce the impact on the climate and makes the carbon market regulations transparent. This is one of the main expectation form Russia at the COP-18 in Doha, Quatar.
Global leaders explain their inability to respond to the problem of global warming by economic interests. These excuses have no grounds: scientists concluded that the slowdown of the global economy due to climate change and dependence on fossil fuels has already caused losses of 1.6% of the global GDP, or $ 1.2 trillion a year. The deficit of real action can double this number by 2030 At the start of International UN Climate Conference in Doha (Qatar), politicians are expected to take real action.
November 26: the 18th annual meeting of the parties under the UN convention on climate change opens in Doha, Qatar. Over 17000 delegates and 1500 media representatives from 195 countries are expected to take part. Russian NGOs are looking forward to decisive steps by the Russian official delegation towards joining the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, voicing out significant commitments to reduce its emissions as well as suggestions as to the Green Investment scheme development.
The national conference of the Russian Social Ecological Union on public participation in the national dialogue on climate change and sustainable energy
On November 2-4, the 5th All-Russian Conference of the Russian Social Ecological Union (RSEU) "Public participation in the national dialogue on climate change and sustainable energy" was held in Peterhof, a suburb of St. Petersburg. The conference brought together over 50 representatives of environmental NGOs from 24 regions of Russia, from Kaliningrad to Vladivostok.
Dutch scientists claim that it is possible to bring up the share of renewable energy in the global energy production to 95 % by 2050, even using already existing technologies. At the same time, the target of 4.5 % renewable energy by 2020 announced the Energy Strategy of the Russian Federation is under doubt: the International Energy Agency predicts only 1.6 % by 2035.
A few days ago the Russian Foreign Ministry has once again confirmed that, from next year, Russia is not going to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases under the Kyoto Protocol, but Russia stands for the transfer of quotas. The global amount of unused quotas for CO2 emissions could reach 17 billion tons by 2020. Experts believe that this enormous amount threatens the viability of any future climate agreement.
By data of recent researches, introduction of a tax on carbon dioxide emissions will give a USD 1.5 trl. increase to American budget and will become an instrument for the “therapy” of financial deficit. If Russia does not adopt a system of control on greenhouse gas emissions, it will make itself vulnerable against international carbon taxes after it declined to participate in the second stage of the Kyoto Protocol, - experts believe.
Active participation of the RF delegation in the discussion on the future of the second stage of the Kyoto Protocol at the UN session of climate negotiations, which has just ended in Bangkok, gave a hope that the country is intending to join the climatic agreement. However, Presidential Advisor on climate issues Alexander Bedritsky resolutely refuted any gossips on Russia’s possible participation in KP-2 and stated that “as long as the decision was made by the President, this issue should be resolved at the same presidential level…”
New data on weather anomalies and climate changes correlations sustain the necessity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
Reputed U.S. institutions: NASA Institute for Space Studies and the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Project published the latest data on the anomaly weather phenomena, which became more frequent, associated with climate changes. This document is an irrefutable argument in favor of the concept that only intensive efforts on reduction of carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere can save the humanity.
A Gazprom representative announced that the Company is planning to correlate costs of its supplies carbon fuel not with oil prices but with the cost of alternative electrical energy.
In 2011, investments in the renewable energy amounted to the record $257 bln, UN report says. - Renewable energy gets cheaper and cheaper, experts from International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) claim. In Russia share of renewable energy is still less then 1 %.
High carbon intensity of the Russian economy lowers country’s capacity of a serious actor on the world economic arena
In the ten years, Russia’s total amount of greenhouse gases emissions went up by 10.7%; further growth by 11,2 % is predicted by 2020. Reasonable climate policy and adoption of internal targets on emissions reduction in the country could let Russia benefit from the international markets of low-carbon technologies and renewable energy sources.
Ecologists acknowledged the Olympic Games in London as the “greenest” in the Olympic history. Organizers of the London-2012 Olympics achieved the best successes in reduction of the carbon dioxide (СО2) emission. Is there any chance that Sochi would overcome London by this index?
Specialists from the RAS Obukhov Institute of Physics of the Atmosphere (IFA RAS) presented a climate model for the three next centuries. The Russian scholars not only agreed with the world scholars’ conclusions regarding the upcoming global warming but also proposed a hypothesis that land-based ecosystems will soon start emitting carbon dioxide instead of absorbing it as is the case now.
Adviser to RF President on the issues of climate changes Alexander Bedritsky came out with the initiative to limit internal emissions of greenhouse gases at the national level.
The recent cataclysms in the south of Russia happened to be the most powerful in the entire history of observation. Total volume of one-day precipitations amounted to a monthly volume of precipitations in Thailand famous for its rainfall seasons. The majority of experts link the situation with the process of current global climate changes.
Speaking at the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev declared importance of ensuring consistency of the energy policy of the world leading countries and proposed to come back to Russia's initiatives on energy security at the UN.
Russia decided to join the global initiative to reduce the short living climate factors (SLCF) within the G8 framework. Representatives of environmental NGOs are sure that participation in this agreement will encourage Russia to implement additional climate action that will benefit its economy.
The year 2011 set a record of CO2 emissions: the amount of climate pollution has increased by 1 Gt and made 31.6 Gt, says the recent International Energy Agency (IEA) report http://www.iea.org/newsroomandevents/news/2012/may/name,27216,en.html
Million inhabitants of the Earth and UN experts urge world leaders to abandon subsidies for fossil fuels
On the eve of the Rio +20 International Conference on Sustainable Development, to be held in Rio de Janeiro in late June, more than a million citizens have signed a call for world leaders to stop subsidizing fossil fuels - coal, oil and gas.
Average capital costs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Russia are on average about 13 U.S. dollars per 1 tonne of CO2 equivalent. The most expensive projects are in metallurgical industry, and the "cheapest" ones are processing of associated gas and energy production based on the CMM utilization.
High energy intensity of Russia’s economy is a result of tariff regulation that contradicts political decisions
According to the UN report "Energy Sector and Sustainable Development," http://www.undp.ru/documents/NHDR_2009_English.pdf, Russia's GDP energy intensity decreased more rapidly than in many countries around the world, by nearly 5 % per year. Despite this, there is no reason for celebration. In fact, Russia just went up in the GDP energy intensity rating from the 141th to 133rd place of 150.
On May, 16th Russia’s Ministry of Economic Development approved another 36 JI projects totaling 128,1 mln tons of CO2. Oil and gas projects still form the largest part of those approved.
Some observers call the climate negotiations session that ended last week in Bonn one of the most unsuccessful. Others are somewhat more optimistic: "Although absolutely nothing has been done, at least, nothing happened that could endanger the most important cause - the beginning of work on a new agreement."
The focus of the negotiation was on the developing of the new agreement on climate change that is to be finished until the end of 2015 according to the decision of the international UN conference in Durban, South Africa in December 2011, and will come into force from 2020. Prior to this, all countries need to undertake some actions to reduce emissions. After termination of the first period of the Kyoto Protocol (December 2012) there will be substantially less international mechanisms to stimulate low-carbon projects available for the countries that did not join KP 2, including Russia.
The next round of international negotiations on climate change began in Bonn (Germany). This is the first official meeting of the parties, which will discuss the so-called "Durban platform" - a policy paper on a new climate agreement.
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has released a brief guide on developing low carbon strategies for climate-sustainable development in Russian language. Its authors believe that, without well-planned implementation programs, efforts of the countries become ineffective isolated actions.
During a recent meeting with members of the Russian Antarctic Expedition, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said that before Russia takes climate commitments related to the future of its industry and economy as a whole, it is necessary to achieve common understanding, common approaches, and common principles. Meanwhile, in Climate Change Performance Index 2012, Russia has lost seven positions, finishing 55th out of 61.
Statistics of the Russian registry of carbon units demonstrates diversity, but does not shed light on the future of Kyoto projects
The website of the Russian carbon units registry updated the data on national accounting of Kyoto projects. By the beginning of April this year, 67 projects have been officially approved, with more than 174 million tons of CO2 by 2012. More than 36 million tons of emission reductions are officially recognized as being issued in the circulation. Among these projects renewable energy (most bio fuel) and energy efficiency are on the third place after oil and industrial sectors.
At the meeting of BRICS countries in New Delhi, the Russian Minister of Economic Development E. Nabiullina said that Russia intends to continue to counter "green protectionism." Representatives of environmental organizations and experts in Russia believe that the best option of the struggle for world markets is not rejection of green development, but creation of domestic market for greenhouse gas emission reductions.
After the chaos made by Poland at the EU negotiations on the objectives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, big business comes as an unexpected ally of the European Commission, taking the view that locking into fossil fuels creates the danger of stranded assets when a low-carbon grid looks more and more likely. Representatives of environmental NGOs hope that the viewpoint of big business in Europe will motivate Russian entrepreneurs to invest more in greening the economy.
On 12 March, the Ministry of Economic Development has approved a list of 27 joint implementation projects intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The projects approved by the ministry show wider geographical coverage and relative sector diversity, but still do not include renewable energy projects.
March 11 marked one year since the beginning of a radioactive accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. The Fukushima catastrophe has become the second major nuclear catastrophe in the history, along with Chernobyl, and caused damage to at least two million people in Japan. The Fukushima disaster confirmed fallibility of nuclear reactors safety calculations and has forced many to reconsider plans for nuclear power development. RSEU consistently opposes the plans for construction of new nuclear reactors and extending operation of old ones, as well as for their gradual decommissioning.
By the end of 2011, Czech Republic managed to find funding under the Green Investment Scheme for more than 50,000 projects worth 424 million euros. Thus, a small European country completed its plan to attract environmental investments by more than 80% and has already allocated over a half of these funds to finance environmental projects. Meanwhile, Russia continues to lose opportunities to invest in climate projects.
In the end of January, the Ministry of Economic Development of Russia approved three new "Kyoto" projects. These projects will be implemented in the North and in the Far East of Russia, and will add about 10.5 million tons of saved CO2-equivalent, which is about one sixth of the amount initially planned by the Government for the third round of "climate" plans implementation.
The International Energy Agency has released a new report World Energy Outlook 2011 on the evaluation of the realities and prospects of world energy. Russia has once again taken its place in the energy "crowd": no hopes, no expectations.
The Energy Industry Expo 2011 Forum held in Yekaterinburg witnessed the concept of distributed energy system in the Sverdlovsk region. Representatives of regional authorities and of environmental organizations are sure that distributed network and renewable energy shall replace the excessively centralized energy system in the Urals.
Since January 1, all airlines flying over the EU territory will pay for greenhouse gas emissions from aircraft engines. This rule takes effect despite the opposition of the Russian air carriers and dissatisfaction of the Russian government. On December 21, the European Court upheld the collection of quotas.
In a short time energy technologies will change beyond recognition. This is the opinion of participants of the seminar "Technological vectors in the energy sector and the prospects for the venture technology business" held in Moscow. Experts in the field of business and power see not only technological but also economic incentives for renewable energy development in Russia.
Representatives of Russian NGOs who were following the course of the UN climate talks in Durban would like to emphasize the following.
Having in mind the complexity of the negotiations as well as differences in economical, political and environmental situation in the countries, we see the resulting Durban Package and the decision to have the second commitment period of Kyoto Protocol as a partial success, a step towards a new global agreement. However, bearing in mind the current trends of global warming, we express our deep concern about the adoption of a new agreement in 2020, which might come too late to hold the temperature growth within 2 degrees and will fail to avert the irreversible climate changes.
Worldwide, the problem of reducing greenhouse gas emissions is solved by fast growth of renewable energy. Transport is responsible for almost one third of global greenhouse gases emissions. However, the use of RE in autonomous vehicles is a technical challenge. Therefore, all the more surprising is the progress that was demonstrated in recent years. The year 2011 marked ten years of successful commercial navigation of the world biggest solar-powered catamaran MobiCat. Russia lags behind in this matter, and it is necessary to pay special attention to transport sector in development programmes for RE.
By the end of the first period of the Kyoto Protocol Russian "carbon stock" will be about 6 billion tons of CO2 equivalent, which in case of non-participation in the second period will simply return to zero. The volume of non-received climatic resources of the country in case of suspension of the Joint Implementation projects (JIPs) since 2013 is estimated at about 1-1.5 billion dollars.
Russia’s refusal to be part of Kyoto-2 implies a lot of losses for our country – for the federal budget, the society and for the environment. But there is an already existing JI mechanism which might be very successfully integrated into Russia’s climate policy, the emissions regulation system in order to stimulate environmental investments into energy efficiency and resource saving projects.
Ministry of Energy sent for review to the federal bodies of executive power the project of "a series of measures to stimulate production of electric power generation facilities that operate through the use of renewable energy sources." Experts believe that the measures proposed by the Ministry of Energy will have no effect without real reform of the electricity market for renewable energy.
Several decisions on the LULUCF within the framework of the Kyoto Protocol were taken at the UN Climate Conference in Durban, South Africa, the full stop in the discussion has not been set yet. Representatives of the environmental NGOs believe that the new scandalous proposal of classifying all forest fires as natural ones may let Russia relax about its less than perfect legislation and forest management practices.
The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) presented in late November the scientific report "Food safety, agriculture and climate change by 2050: scenarios, forecasts and policy recommendations." The scientists conclude that Russia will suffer from the lack of adaptation of the agricultural sector to climate change.
The outcome of Durban climate talks may be seen as successful. But it is important not to stop here, but raise ambition and keep working hard towards a new legally binding agreement for all Parties. Russia should join KP-2 in order not to kill JI in our country.
NGOs are disappointed with official position of the Russian Federation - a refusal to participate in the second period to the Kyoto Protocol, and lost opportunity to perform JI projects after 2012.
Public observers at Durban climate talks are demanding constructive decisions from our delegations to save the climate
On the final day of the climate conference in Durban nothing certain can be said yet on the final decisions of the Parties and especially on the main issue - the future of the Kyoto Protocol. Public observers express their attitude by holding actions on the conference’s territory. RSEU Climate Secretariat handed the proposal by Russian NGOs on the need to support Kyoto-2 to the Head of the Russian delegation to support Kyoto-2, but Russia still boycotting it.
Russia says Kyoto prolongation is a false goal and boasts emissions reduction resulting from industrial crisis on the 90-s
December, 8: Russian delegation to COP17 held a press conference this morning. A.Frolov, head of Roshydromet, said human impact on climate change is indisputable (while it has been debated a lot by Russian scientific community). He said that Russia reduced its emissions by 36% since 1990. NGOx consider this is a questionable achievement since it is mostly due to the industrial crisis of the 90-s. Mr. Frolov also stated that Kyoto-2 is a false goal and Russia will not be a part of it.
Statement of the Advisor to the President of the RF on climate change at the UN climate talks in Durban
08th of December 2011 the Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation on Climate Change, Mr. Alexander Bedritskiy, has made a Statement to the 17th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC/ 7th Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol in Durban, South Africa
The high level segment of climate negotiations, bringing ministers and heads of states, has started. At the official opening head of the Russian delegation, Head of Roshydromet, A.Frolov and the President’s advisor on climate change, A.Bedritsky, were presented. NGO observers from Russia and Ukraine directed an appeal to the delegates to allow JI only to those countries who sign KP2. Russia suggests to vote at the COP on the correction of the Artickle 4 of the Convention concerning revision of lists of developed and developing countries. But their is still o sufficient movement both to KP-2 and to the new legally binding agreement
A new LCA draft text has just appeared. It should lay ground for the final resulting document of the conference. Russia received the Fossil of the Day for the willing to save up its emissions quotas for the future but for being against Kyoto2 at the same time.
Day 5 at COP17 in Durban: Russian NGO observers had a meeting with coordinator of official RF delegation
In the end of the first week of UN climate talks according to the request of the RSEU climate secretariat the coordinator of Russian official delegation Oleg Shamanov met Russian NGO observers working at COP17 (Russian Socio-Ecological Union, Friends of the Baltic, Ecodefence, Ural Ecounion).
NGOs cannot stay at the conference venues after 10 pm and there is a proposal to keep NGOs away from SBI meetings. Thawing of permafrost was highlighted by South African press while no reaction from Russia on this issue. Poland lobbies coal while misusing its EU Presidency status. African countries may not receive most of the proposed funding to fight climate change.
The third day of COP17 did not bring forth any progress in the negotiations. During the discussion of Kyoto mechanisms Oleg Shamanov, Russia’s representative, said that JI project provide a great stimulus for emissions reduction measures and have to remain in operation after 2012, but failed to mention anything about the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. At an evening side event Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine presented their respective situations with emissions trends, but said nothing about their future intentions in this field for the current negotiations.
The international climate negotiations will start next week in Durban, South Africa, These negotiations promise to be “hot: the only one year remains to the end of the 1st period of Kyoto Protocol. NGOs expect countries constructive attitude to approve 2nd period of Kyoto Protocol and do everything possible for preparation of new international legally binding agreement. Belarus, Russia and Ukraine NGOs have made a Statement to Durban.
For the first time the US extracted more shale gas than Russia, the former leader in “blue gold” mining. Will this energy source satisfy the growing demand? Experts claim that increasing the share of shale gas helps reduce carbon emissions and thus fight climate change. Although NGOs reckon that this energy alternative is hardly to become an environmental panacea.
Russia is one of the carbon-intensive countries in the world, said the British Environmental Investment Organisation (EIO). However, analysts cannot confirm this with figures, because Russian companies are in the end of carbon reporting lists. Introduction of international low-carbon standards should be part of climate policy of Russia, and transparency in corporate carbon accounting should be encouraged by governmental mechanisms. Unfortunately, so far Russia has no such plans.
Environmental activists from all the regions of Russia, from the Far East to Murmansk, gathered in Strelna, near St.Petersburg, on the 27 til 28 of October to discuss public expectations and measures that are necessary to implement energy efficiency and reduce GHG emissions in Russia.
Passenger aviation was the first to create the international system of payments for greenhouse gases emissions. Russian airlines are assessing their expenses already. The Aeroflot director general Vitaly Saveliev announced in an interview to Interfax news agency $ 40 million in 2012. Representatives of environmental organizations think that these charges are important to understand the idea of "the cost of climate change": as one will have to pay for the emissions, there will be additional incentives to reduce them.
The new Resolution of the Government of the Russia Federation “On Measures to Implement Article 6 of the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change” (the “Resolution”) does not imply any simplification of the bidding process, nor does it provide more opportunities for small-scale renewable energy projects. The new changes even aggravate the competition in this already very narrow field.
The inclusion of forestry projects in Kyoto mechanisms remains a matter of dispute. For Russia this would be one of the least costly, thus very promising ways. Although many NGOs are cautious about the inclusion of forests in climate policy mechanisms, especially as far as methods of emissions volume estimation, the accuracy of carbon sequestration accounting and the threat of monoculture plantations to ecosystems are concerned.
Russia is changing the rules of the game on Kyoto projects and putting new barriers for low-carbon economy
Russia’s Federal Government regulation “On measures to implement Article 6 of the Kyoto Protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change” was signed on September, 15. Instead of setting a limit for each bidding round this time there is a new limit set of a total of 300 mln tons of CO2 equivalent until the end of 2012. And the new rules create even more obstacles for the projects and opportunities for corruption.
On 28 September, 2011, Switzerland joined the countries that made decisions to abandon completely nuclear power as energy generating source. Russia is still plan to develop nuclear energy sector, although NPPs produce only 12 % of electricity, and make only 4 % in the total energy mix. Meanwhile, the Russian energy-saving potential is over 40 %.
Russia’s first forest project that claims to provide an emissions’ cut of 120.000 tons of CO2 equivalent may be up for Sberbank’s bidding in the nearest future. The forest management project for the Altai Territory may bring about 120.000 emission reduction units already in the coming year. There should be a separate nomination for such small and middle scale projects with a simplified evaluation procedure, say environmental NGOs.
In Germany the share of energy from wind and solar power stations for the first time went beyond 20% of the country’s energy balance. While Germany’s plan to go nuclear free is frowned upon by some, many experts are sure that dropping the nuke is the way to go. Environmental NGOs say that Germany may serve as a good example for Russia, since the goal of 4.5% by 2020 is close to nothing.
Governor of Krasnoyarsk region has commissioned to find the funds for a wide-scale implementation of energy saving street lighting technologies in the region. Changing street light bulbs to LED lighting will reduce energy costs by 30% with a 6-year long payback time. Krasnoyarsk expects to receive 500 mln rubles from the federal budget to support energy saving measures.
Russian NGOs, members of the Russian Socio-Ecological Union, oppose placing a new major research nuclear reactor in the Volga region. The NGOs prepared the Report with evidence of the project risks and presented it at public hearings on August 26 in Dmitrovgrad.
Right before yet another Hiroshima anniversary Japan declared the willing to struggle against the development of nuclear armament and nuclear power. NGOs fully support such an attitude as nuclear power is far from being safe. Furthermore, it cannot not help us save the climate as some nuclear lobbyists claim, and will only create new problems.
Russia’s Sberbank calls for applications to the third tender of JP with an increased limit 70 mln ton CO2. Projects will compete within the three sectors: Energy, Industry and Wastes. Russian NGOs consider that this system again doesn’t give an opportunity for renewable energy projects, because they can’t compete with large scale projects of energy monopolists.
Russia's vast permafrost areas may shrink by a third by the middle of the century due to global warming, endangering infrastructure in the Arctic zone, an emergencies ministry official said Friday.
A few days ago Lufthansa became the first commercial airline that announced the start for using biological renewable fuel on a regular flight between Hamburg and Frankfurt. There are no similar ambitious projects in Russia. However, participants of the workshop "Prospects, problems and risks of 'green' technologies" held in Yekaterinburg are sure, that the use of biofuels in our country has great future.
Russia is against recognition of global security threat from climate change, but for the nuclear energy development
20 of July in New-York Russia together with China opposed a Statement of the UN Security Council (http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2011/sc10332.doc.htm) on the security threat of climate change. Russian representative V.Churkin also said that Russia will move to low-carbon economy with attention to nuclear energy.
This confusing position in the concurrent SC debate shed a light on the lack of a clear line on the climate issue in the Russian Government, and nuclear energy threatens the global security,
Emission permits issued by the UN for Russia to boost measures on limitation of climate change can become an occasion for rich countries to abandon considerable reduction in their own emissions. Representatives of non-governmental organizations display negative attitude to such developments, as Russia is one of the largest CO2 emitters, and it imposes a special responsibility in the climate process on our country.
Authorities in several Russian cities declare their intention to give "green light" to cyclists. Representatives of environmental organizations are sure that such initiatives of municipal authorities will reduce air pollution in the Russian cities and emissions of greenhouse gases.
Russia aims to more than quadruple renewable power generation by 2020 and has formidable resources to do so, but its hydrocarbon lobby is stonewalling progress and is unlikely to back down in the foreseeable future. On the contrary, representatives of environmental NGOs consider the target of 4,5% as impermissibly low one. Green energy experts say Russia's expansive coastline, forest cover, favourable topography and abundance of wastes that can be recycled should mean that meeting this goal would not be a problem. Russia can become a world leader in renewables and strive to 20% share of renewables in its energy production.
At the UN climate negotiations Russia is still taking a stand against the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol (KP) after 2012. The opportunities granted by the first commitment period are largely missed by Russia, since only 32 projects have been approved and many investors have left the country. The President has called for the maximum use of KP mechanisms in the remaining 18 months. Russia’s participation in the second period is very important in order to unite global action for climate change mitigation. But even without the KP Russia’s national interests and priorities in international affairs will lead the country to the obvious need to reduce our emissions as an integral part of modernization aimed at increasing energy efficiency of the country’s economy.
Air carriers no longer wish to be called the Number 2 air polluters and are joining the emissions trading scheme. Starting from January 1, 2012, a carbon surcharge will be implemented in Europe and international air travel is the first one to pay. NGOs hope that the money will be used to fund actual measures to combat climate change and that the sanctions will result in emissions reduction, not in reduction of air travel.
June 17: the second round of UN climate negotiations for this year ended in Bonn, Germany. Despite certain progress in working on technical details the big questions of the Kyoto second commitment period, emissions reduction goals and long-term financing remain unsolved.
Second round of UNFCCC climate negotiations 2011 starts in Bonn 6th of June. The key issue: discussion of frames for the future international agreement, which hopefully will be brought to UNGCCC/COP-17 conference in Durban in November 2011. International NGO Climate Action Network has published expectation of the Durban decision.
The procedure for approval of the JU project in Russia may be changed again. Since December (6 months!) Sberbank didn’t accept any JI project proposals.
Since 2008 Ministry of Economy has approved only 32 projects (58,5 mln ton CO2) from proposed 73 projects (105,8 mln ton CO2).
Many tens more companies having an intention and high potential for CO2 fear of complicated bureaucratic procedure. Huge Russian potential of hundreds mln ton CO2 reduction remain untapped.
More information in M. Yulkin article (in Russian).
Roshydromet (Federal Service on hydrometeorology and monitoring of the environment of the Russian Federation) has published the official report on specific features of climate in the Russian Federation in 2010. The report contains the data on anomalies of climate parameters and on extreme weather and climate events.
Establishing national GHG ET Market is again being discussed. This discussion already took place some years ago, but then the idea was critically met by international experts. Now the revival of this topic is supported by the argument of stimulation of CO2 emissions reduction. However, the idea find opponents again.
On 25 April, 2011, the Russian government has approved the Action Plan for implementation of national Climate Doctrine, which was signed 1,5 years ago. This Plan will be a benchmark for forecasts and development programs for Russian territories and industry. Ministry of Economy will make such forecasts in 2011-2020 according to the Climate Action plan taking into account climate risks, challenges for GHG emission reduction, and adaptation. The Governmental decree adopting the Action Plan doesn’t imply any funding and staff support for the Plan.
Energy saving is the resource as big as Russia, according to Scientific director of the Ural Institute for Energy Saving Nikolai Danilov (Ekaterinburg). This entirely reflects the views of environmental NGOs, who believe that the purposeful introduction of energy efficiency projects will allow to abandon construction of hazardous energy projects.
Tomsk region has a plans to electrify more than 20 settlements to 2020 with wind-solar decentralized energy sources. It will cost 91,9 mln rub which will be paid back in 3-4 years. Heads of the region's districts have shown interest in the developments by Tomsk's scientists, and region's authorities are now holding consultations concerning providing the financing of the pilot project.
Russia at Bangkok climate negotiations: against 2nd period of Kyoto protocol, but for development of Kyoto mechanisms
At the past negotiations in Bangkok Russia continued to push against the second commitment period and for a future replacement of the Kyoto protocol with a brand new agreement. At the same time Russia is aiming at using the potential of Kyoto mechanisms for obvious benefits. Besides, Russia proposed a sectoral approach to emissions reduction in metallurgy, cement industry and the energy sector. Sadly, nuclear power keeps being advocated as a low-carbon solution.
The second Sberbank’s bidding of JI projects has just finished. Once again there are no renewable energy projects among the winners. According to NGOs, requirements for such projects are not field-specific, there are no developed mechanisms to sell the approved emissions reduction units and there are no clear post-Kyoto plans in view. All that makes the future of JI very vague.
April 6 to 8, 2011 a media tour was held in Murmansk region in order to introduce journalists and NGO activists to local examples of low-carbon solutions, among them: the energy efficient block in the town of Apatity, a wind power turbine in Murmansk and the use of geothermal heat pumps for buildings. The tour concluded with a press conference in the Murmansk press center of Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper where the tour’s organizers – Olga Senova of RSEU Climate Secretariat and Friends of the Baltic NGO, Elena Kruglikova of Kola Environmental Center and Vitaly Servetnik of Nature and Youth held their speeches.
April, 3: a sequential session of UN climate talks opened in Bangkok where the parties are to discuss the implementation of Cancun agreements to this date. One of the main goals now is to avoid the gap after the first commitment period elapses in 2012. Russian Socio-Ecological Union’s opinion is that given the absence of a new agreement in view the Kyoto Protocol should be prolonged with the necessary additions and changes taken into consideration.
A public report entitled Low-carbon future: Ural perspectives was presented in Yekaterinburg. It provides the analysis of the situation in Sverdlovsk region and evaluates opportunities and examples of low-carbon solutions in the region. The low-carbon way would prompt economic growth along with emissions reduction in different spheres of the economy.
Nuclear accident in Japan is a world tragedy and a signal to revise plans for development of nuclear energy in Russia and other countries. Events in Fukushima visually confirm the assertions of critics of "peaceful atom" that the danger level of nuclear power is too great to consider it as a reasonable way to generate energy. The Russian Social Ecological Union signed a letter to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev with the proposal to radically revise the policy in the nuclear industry. The letter requests the audit of security measures of operating Russian nuclear power plants and the development of plans for early decommissioning of obsolete nuclear power plants. The letter draws particular attention to feasibility of refusing to build new nuclear power plants and shifting resources to development of renewable energy sources.
The Ministry of Economic Development has proposed a draft document, according to which the energy efficiency of goods purchased for the needs of budget organizations would meet the highest level. According to RSEU, apart from the requirements the state shall introduce financial incentives for domestic producers to increase energy efficiency of their products, for buyers to increase demand for such products, and conduct extensive outreach on importance of energy efficiency.
On Friday 11 March, the Norwegian Government has decided not to open offshore waters in the archipelagos of Lofoten, Vesterålen and Senja island for oil drilling. Marine waters off the Lofoten Islands are of particular value to the ecosystem of the Atlantic Ocean. This region is one of the most beautiful in Norway.
In November 2009, the Russian State Duma adopted the Law on energy saving and energy efficiency. In accordance with Article 10 of the Law, selling of incandescent bulbs of 100 watts and above is prohibited since January 1, 2011. Since the same date, placing orders for supply of incandescent bulbs for the state or municipal needs is prohibited. Shoppers have noticed the disappearance of high-power incandescent bulbs from the shop shelves.
In the past few years a number of energy efficiency related projects has been carried out in Russia’s building and housing sector. The new Panda House by WWF looks quite ambitious, too. Along with similar projects of this kind it demonstrates the enormous potential of both sectors that so far has not been fully considered.
On January 14, 2011, British Petroleum (BP) and the largest Russian oil company Rosneft signed an agreement on co-operation in development of three oil fields in the Russian Arctic shelf. A catastrophe in the Arctic, even ten times smaller than what happened in the Gulf of Mexico, with high probability will have dire consequences for the nature of the Arctic ecosystems and seriously contribute in global climate change.
The website of the RSEU Climate Secretariat published actual list of legislative and normative documents of the Russian Federation relating to environmental protection. In addition to general documents, the list gives special attention to the environmental impact assessment, and presents documents relating to energy facilities, climate issues, etc. The author of the list is Valery Brinikh, an RSEU member.
Russian Socio-Ecological Union supports Norwegian colleagues in their fight against plans for oil extraction off the coast of northern Norway
In the near future, the Government of Norway will decide on whether to open up new areas in the north of Norway for oil and gas drilling. The sea areas off the coast of Lofoten, Vesterålen and Senja are among the most scenic and biodiveristy rich areas in Norway. Opening them up to oil and gas industry will not only put the valuable ecosystems at risk, but also further increase Norway's greenhouse gas emissions from a large and growing petroleum sector. RSEU supports Norwegian environmental non-governmental organizations in their fight against such a decision. RSEU signed a letter to the Prime Minister of Norway, asking him not to make a decision about opening the Lofoten Islands region for oil and gas production.
Last year environmental catastrophes and climate problems have come out on top in the lists of the leading news agencies of the world, heat waves and fires in Russia among them. However, little real action has been seen in the attempt to address the roots of the climate catastrophe.
The Russian yacht “Peter I” made the 4 months record polar circumnavigation in the Arctics. Its crew noted the catastrophic destruction of the Arctic Ocean ice cover. Will polar bears survive in such a situation?
Russian regional companies have recently officially become eligible to obtain permission to perform energy audit. At the moment the overwhelming majority of the organizations accredited by the state are situated in Moscow and St.Petersburg. The advancement of state accreditation procedures eastwards may become a step towards creating a system of uniform criteria and regulations and is also likely to speed up the implementation of regional energy efficiency plans.
Only in case energy auditing does not become a sort of duty and a new obligatory expense item.
One of the most vivid environmental problems in the world is decreasing area and thickness of ice in the Arctic Ocean. The Arctic environment is an indicator of global warming. At the same time, the Arctic natural systems contain mechanisms that can exert strong impact on the climate, unwinding "diabolical spiral" of warming. The effects of all these factors shall be studied seriously. In addition, the Arctic shelf stores huge hydrocarbon reserves. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin calls for study and conservation of the Arctic resources.
The Sverdlovsk region becomes a pilot territory for development of a regional low-carbon strategy. This region is the most energy and resources consuming not only in Russia, but in the whole world. Now it is the first region in Russia, which has officially approved the issue of greenhouse gases reduction and has proposed 25% of GHG emission reduction at the regional level.
Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District numbers 10 projects on GHG emissions reduction. These projects will secure total CO2 emissions reduction of about 18 million tons by 2012 and are likely to bring about 125 million Euro of investments to the regional economy. Will they be implemented within the Joint Implementation mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol?
The UN Conference on Climate Change held on November 29 - December 11 in the Mexican city of Cancun has brought neither significant results, nor big disappointments. Russia's position over the last year has not changed and has not become more constructive. The Conference adopted the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions stated by countries a year ago. These goals are still too weak to solve the problem of climate change. The Green Climate Fund was agreed to be established for adaptation to climate change. The set of decisions adopted at the conference gives hope for the possibility of a new comprehensive climate agreement.
Russian presidential climate adviser Alexander Bedritsky claims at Cancún climate talks that "Russia will not participate in the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol." Meanwhile, in the current failure with a new legally binding climate agreement, preservation of the Kyoto Protocol may be the only option to continue global climate process. Russian NGOs call official delegation continue the efforts of the KPl working group to extend the protocol, until there is a comprehensive legally binding agreement that meets the current situation and includes the main positive elements of the Kyoto Protocol
Forestry is one of the main topics of UN climate talks in Cancun, Mexico. Russia has 23 % of the world's forests and is the real lungs of the planet. However, Russian boreal forests have no proper global appreciation. If the Russian taiga is not urgently included in the climate mechanisms, the planet will lose a major absorber of CO2.
Position of the Russian environmental NGOs was presented at the UN Conference on Climate Change COP 16 in Cancún. Environmental activists oppose the transfer of quotas for GHG emissions left over from 2008 - 2012 period to the future. Environmental groups are calling on Russia to declare a moratorium on the sale of 6 billion tonnes of "the Kyoto period" quotas until at least 2020. Russian NGOs call to exclude completely nuclear power from the climate mechanisms and texts under negotiations. The booklet of the Russian Socio-Ecological Union about position of the public on climate change and energy policy was presented at the conference.
Monday 6 December was the “Health Day” in Cancun. Leading global medical and health groups launched the "Cancun Climate and Health Statement" for delegates. The statement calls on negotiators to consider the "real costs" of climate change and the benefits of strong action by taking the human health dimension into account. Analysis of Russian scientists has shown that reducing CO2 emissions by 3.5 thous. tons saves one human life in Russia per year.
The first week of international UN Climate Conference in Cancun has ended. Confrontation between developed and developing countries on the distribution of efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions remains. On many issues, the proposals are diametrically opposed.
Review of the first week of negotiations at the UN Climate Change Conference in Cancun, prepared by the CAN-EECCA (Climate Action Network in Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia).
The future of the Kyoto Protocol (KP) and transfer of its mechanisms for subsequent periods is discussed in Cancun. Russia has repeatedly stated that it considers appropriate to transfer unused quotas for CO2 emissions to the future periods of international agreements. Environmental NGOs are calling to abandon the sale of quotas and to take action to actually reduce emissions.
On November 29, 2010, international negotiations on climate change started in Cancun, Mexico. The negotiations will last until December 10. Expectations of the negotiations include, in particular, the agreement on creation of climate fund to help developing countries, its management and participation of countries in the filling of the fund. According to RSEU, Russia should actively participate in the formation of this fund. This fund should be subject to international procedures for monitoring, reporting and verification.
The Mexican city of Cancún will host from 29 November to 10 December 2010 the UN Conference (COP-16) on climate change and international agreements to reduce human impact and to adapt to the climate change consequences. Public organizations made proposals to Russia's position to the COP-16.
Russia may have endured its hottest summer on record and battled deadly forest fires, but attitudes on climate change remain dominated by scepticism and even mired in conspiracy theories – on the eve of the Cancun UN climate negotiations.
For the first time in Russia in Belgorod oblast the solar PV power station was put into operation to sell electricity to the grid. The system consists of polycrystalline solar cells of 50 kW and amorphous solar panels of the same capacity. Design capacity - 133,390 kWh per year.
October 24-25: the third All-Russian conference of NGOs dedicated to climate and energy issues and public participation was held in Moscow region by Russian Socio-Ecological Union (RSEU). RSEU Climate NGO network gather together with partners annually since 2008. The result of the conference became NGO Proposals for the Action Plan for implementation of the Climate Doctrine and necessary governmental solutions for supporting low-carbon energy.
At Tianjin climate gathering, governments come closer to defining what can be achieved at Cancún UN Climate Change Conference
(Tianjin, 9 October 2010) - Speaking on the final day of the Tianjin UN Climate Change Conference (4-9 October), UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres said that governments had made progress in defining what could be achieved at the UN Climate Change Conference in Cancún (29 November to 10 December).
At the threshold of the climate negotiations in Cancun (Mexico) Russia's state-run 1 TV channel showed a documentary about climate change, where first time presented its dangerous consequences and necessity of urgent solutions.
Peat fires like those that occurred during this summer in Russia and in the United States, pose a serious threat to the climate. Russian Social-Ecological Union notes, that there is a possibility that heat, which exacerbated the problem of forest and peat fires this summer in Russia, had links to the consequences of climate change.
Russia has confirmed its readiness to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2020 and boost the efficiency of energy use by 40 percent. This statement was made by the Russian deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Yakovenko after a ministerial meeting on climate which took place on the sidelines of the 65th session of the UN General Assembly in New York.
September 6-7: JI Technical Workshop dedicated to the prospect of JI projects after 2012 took place in St.Petersburg. The potential of JI in Russia is fairly high (as well as investors’ interest in it) and will most likely be unlocked regardless of the outcomes of the up-coming climate negotiations in Mexico due in November/December of 2010. Sadly yet typically enough, the topics of climate change and the necessity to reduce GHG emissions – the declared objective of all Kyoto mechanisms – were hardly ever mentioned.
A while ago REN21 published a report presenting the latest data on current trends in the renewable energy sector. Despite the significant growth of RE production worldwide Russia still lags behind showing some of the lowest figures on the list. Having a huge RE development potential at hand, the country lacks support and development mechanisms for the sector and prioritizes fossils exploitation.
Russia's first JI projects – a step towards combating climate change or new contracts for the oil sector?
Two and a half years after the beginning of the Kyoto Protocol's first commitment period Russia approves the first 15 JI projects that are supposed to ensure an over 30 mln tonnes reduction of carbon emissions in the country. This number is significantly lower than the overall potential of existing emissions-reducing projects, estimated to be over 240 mln tonnes. Most of the approved projects represent the oil and gas sector.
On July 12 in Kaliningrad, the Russian Socio-Ecological Union and Friends of the Baltic NGO held a seminar for journalists and the public "Energy efficiency against climate change" within the international bicycle campaign "Sea-Nature-Energy", visited the oil platform D6, discussed energy-efficient solutions for the residential sector and education for schoolchildren on energy saving.
Sustainable energy at the XVI International Conference on Environmental Education for Sustainable Development in Moscow
On June 25-26, Moscow hosted the International conference on environmental education for sustainable development. The participants of the workshop "Smart Energy and Problems of Education", co-organized by the Russian Green Cross and the Russian Socio-Ecological Union, discussed how to educate those who practically implement energy efficiency and energy saving solutions in construction, in the residential sector, in agriculture, in industry, in offices and at home.
A new regular session of climate negotiations began in Bonn, Germany, on Monday. Representatives of 182 countries - members of the UN participate in the session, which is to last until Friday, June 11.
Currently, the world's emissions of greenhouse gases are regulated by the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in late 2012.
On the eve of another round of climate negotiations in Bonn, which should pave the way for the adoption of a new climate agreement at the end of the year in Cancun (Mexico), Russia expresses the need to integrate the Russian forests in the new agreement as a factor of reducing the global emissions of greenhouse gases.
President Medvedev signed a Decree which obliges Heads of Russia's municipalities and regions to report annually on concrete measures and results of energy efficiency improvement » <http://www.rg.ru/2010/05/ 18/energosber-dok.html>.. With its vast energy efficiency potential, Russia can comply with both its commitment on greenhouse gas emission cut and national economic interests.Russia can save up to 45% of its energy - these are the conclusions of the report prepared by the World Bank Group "Energy Efficiency in Russia: the hidden reserve».
During his visit to Norway and Denmark in the end of April 2010, President Medvedev said about interest to apply in Russia Nordic experience in the field of renewable energy and energy efficiency. "Energy efficiency, unfortunately, is not the best side of Russian economy today " he said at the press conference. Russian president signed with his Danish counterpart the agreements on implementation of projects related to climate change, and projects on energy efficiency
Volcanic eruption in Iceland may have short-term impact on the climate. Volcanic ashes in the atmosphere prevent penetration of sunlight to the ground and thus contribute to cooling. Critics of the global warming theory have decided that they obtained another argument against the evidence of global warming. But the consequences of volcanic activity disappear within a few years, while global warming caused by deeper and more permanent effects, including emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities, continues. And the need for effective climate policies and the development of low-carbon energy remains.
In the St.Petersburg & Leningrad region a media tour “Climate and Green Energy” was held 8 of April. Climate Secretariat of the Russian Socio-Ecological Union shows successful cases of energy efficiency and alternative energy.
There is no Unity of Opinion on Climate Policy between Russian Supreme Authorities - Russian Upper House Speaker Predicts Global Cooling
Sergei Mironov, speaker of the Federation Council, the Upper House of the Russian Parliament, lectured at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations of Ministry of Foreign Affairs. His speech clearly contradicts both international scientific consensus and the Russian policy on this issue, as far as Assessment report of Russian Federal Hydro meteorological Service on climate change and its consequences for Russia territory. Sergey Mironov is not the first time oppose the Russian national climate policies. In October 2009 in the program "Late conversation" on TV he spoke of the futility of Joint Implementation projects.
The European Climate Exchange (ECX) decided to exclude the carbon credits generated from large hydro projects from trading. ECX’s verdict comes as a blow for large hydro investors. Russian Socio-Ecological Union welcomes the exclusion. Russia's NGOs are opposed to plans for construction of large hydroelectric power station plains because they cause significant environmental and social problems and risks.
Energy efficiency of enterprises of fuel and energy complex has become the topic of today's session of the Presidential Commission on Modernization. The session took place in Khanty-Mansiysk. Yesterday Russian president met with the head of Rosnano state corporation Anatoly Chubais, who urged to replace traditional incandescent light bulbs with light-emitting diodes (LEDs), not with fluorescent energy saving lamps, as it was previously planned. Russian Socio-Ecological Union considers this attempt as positive, bus has some fears that such an attempt is connected with lobbying of a private company at the highest state level, as well as by the lack of official calculations of the end user expenses.
European Commission calls not to transfer the loopholes of the Kyoto Protocol to the new climate agreement. In particular, EC opposes Russian and Ukrainian trading of hot air – reductions of emissions, occurred due to crisis of the 1990s, not because of specific efforts.
Russian prime Minister Vladimir Putin made a statement that he prefers conclusion of a new climate agreement, but not an extension for the existing Kyoto Protocol. He said this on February, 10 at a summit of the nations of the Baltic Sea in Helsinki. According to environmental NGOs, the new agreement is indeed more preferable - but there is a risk that in the near future countries will be unable to agree. In this case, the Kyoto remains the only international mechanism, and its extension may become necessary and more easier measure than reaching a new agreement.
Russian Sberbank launched tender for projects of joint implementation (JI). Potential participants are waiting to JI more than 5 years - since Russian ratification of the Kyoto Protocol in 2004. The new procedure significantly slow down projects to reduce emissions - limit the competition is 30 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent, while the JI potential in Russia exceeds 200 million tons.
On 18 February, the Russian President held a Meeting on climate change. Dmitry Medvedev stated that we need 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. Environmental NGOs claim this commitment insufficient.
In the targets, presented to UNFCCC, Russia has weakened commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions compared with figures announced by President in Copenhagen
New Russia's goal of reducing emissions - 15-25% - this is a step backwards compared with the stated in Copenhagen on 25%. Russia and a number of countries presented their commitments to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by 2020 following the conclusion of the climate change talks in Copenhagen. These figures become part of the Copenhagen Accord
Conference in Copenhagen, manifested international lobby groups, which include Russian corporations, including state-owned giants Atomstroyexport and Gazprom.
In 2009 Russian Government approved a new Energy Strategy of Russia until 2030. This Strategy considers export of carbon energy resources as a major factor in the development of Russia's economy, as well as calls nuclear technology among the priorities. The document identified the goal of improving energy efficiency and reducing energy intensity, but does not contain any prescriptions to achieve these goals. Strategy does not set the task of transition to low carbon energy in Russia.
In late October, Russian government adopted a new procedure for approving applications for joint implementation projects under Kyoto Protocol. In today's Russia no JI project is approved for implementation, and the applications filed under the former procedure are not approved as well and should be refiled. According to some reports, official acception of the applications may begin in February. RSEU considers, that governmental bureaucratic delays interfere with business to implement the projects, that could provide a reduction of hundreds mln tons of CO2-equivalent in the period from 2008 to 2012.
On January 14, 2010, public organisations - the Partnership for Development Association, Centre for Promotion of Environmental Initiatives, and Bird Conservation Union of Russia - held in Saratov a roundtable "Global climate change: a regional perspective." Its participants recognised the need to develop a system of adaptation to the adverse effects of climate change in the region.
Full text of independent study by McKinsey & Company has been published. This report deals with Russia's potential to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and save energy. It confirms RSEU position, that Russiacan keep GHG emission 65% of the 1990 level to 2020,and has a capacity for further GHG reduction.
Popular radio commentator follows former Russian President adviser in declaring climate change «a fraud»
A popular radio host and science fiction writer Yulia Latynina, followed former presidential adviser Andrei Illarionov in declaring climate change “a global fraud".
The outcome of the UN Climate Conference, held in Copenhagen from 7 to 19 December, was "Copenhagen Accord", a non-binding document that disappointed all those who hoped to prevent catastrophic climate change impacts in the future. The Russian Socio-Ecological Union believes that the conference results do not meet the global challenge of reducing anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases and adaptation to the impacts of climate change.
17th of December at the Bella Center remained about 300 observers from the 16 thousand registered earlier. 18th of December the Secretariat has promised to admit about the same number of public observers, but anyway NGOs has no access to the plenary sessions
On 17 December President Medvedev signed a Climate Doctrine for Russia - even as prospects for a political agreement at the climate summit in Copenhagen fade. The Doctrine is a strategy document, which sets out Russia’s steps to use less power to create the same economic benefits. The signing of the Doctrine was timed to Medvedev’s visit to Copenhagen. Unfortunately, the eight months that passed since the Russian Government approved the Doctrine) were irretrievably lost for its application in Russia - the world¹s third CO2 emitter.
On December 15, the High (ministerial) segment of the climate negotiations in Copenhagen started. There are almost no chances of reaching a legally binding agreement. This morning, the President of the Conference Connie Hedegaard, the Danish Minister for Environment and Energy, resigned from both positions. Last night, a representative of the Russian delegation mentioned nuclear energy as a tool to combat climate change. Today, public organizations are limited in access to the building of the conference.
The Russian Socio-Ecological Union believes that boreal forests must be reflected in the climate agreement along with tropical forests, and they should be given considerable attention, as the largest natural carbon sinks. This was the opinion of participants in the debate, which took place on 14 December Klimaforum - parallel floor of the international climate conference in Copenhagen.
On 14 December, representatives of Russian NGOs – observers to the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen, handed the Open Letter to Alexander Bedritsky, Advisor to the President of Russian Federation on issues of climate change. In the Letter, the NGOs call for continuation of the talks under the working group on the Kyoto Protocol, to officially announce the inappropriate character of transfer of unused quotas from the Kyoto period to future periods, and not to consider nuclear energy as a renewable energy source and as a technology that could contribute to climate change mitigation.
Today’s publication on the President’s blog again emphasises Russia’s position on climate policy and efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (need in joint efforts, differentiation of developed/developing countries, account of Russia’s forests as a contribution to GHG emissions reduction, increasing energy efficiency by 40% by 2020 and increasing share of renewable energy sources, in particular, nuclear energy).
The Russian Socio-Ecological Union calls for constructive position of Russia at the climate talks and for strong pledges on emission cuts. Meanwhile, the RSEU is categorically against the plans to develop nuclear energy and does not consider it as a possible solution to climte change problem.
On December 12, on the World Day of Climate Action, over 100 thousand people took part in the demonstration in Copenhagen to draw attention to climate change, with the general requirement to political leaders around the world: to adopt an equitable, ambitious and legally binding agreement on climate.
Head of the Russian Delegation at the UN climate talks in Copenhagen Alexander Bedritsky gave an interview to RIA Novosti. He believes that reduction of greenhouse gas emissions should be implemented regardless of what happens with the climate, because it is necessary for development of new technologies and, ultimately, for economic growth. "If you take excessive burden, it may become an obstacle for economic development. Just do not take such obligations"- he said. According to Russian NGOs, the commitments to limit the emissions by 65% of the 1990 baseline are quite feasible and beneficial for Russia, this opinion being confirmed by expert data.
Members of the Russian Socio-Ecological Union that work at the international climate conference in Copenhagen as NGO observers, took part in a number of side events as experts. The events include: press conference of Russian NGOs “The Russian Climate Policy”, seminars “Education for sustainable energy and reducing GHG emissions”, “False promises of nuclear energy”, action “Don’t Nuke the Climate”. The daily newsletter “Below 2 Degrees” http://below2c.wordpress.com published NGO critical vision of the talks.
Participants of the UN climate conference in Copenhagen are very interested, whether Russia will make a “present” to the rest of the world, not transferring hot-air quotas to the post-Kyoto period
An unnamed representative of the official Russian delegation at the talks in Copenhagen said that Moscow will not raise the issue of transferring unused quotas to the time period of the next agreement. “This will be our environmental present to the world” he said..
In spite of the start of the UN conference on climate change in Copenhagen, top Russian officials make contradictory statements on GHG reduction commitments. In the end of November, President Medvedev declared new Russian targets on GHG emission cuts. At the first day of the conference, the Minister for nature resources Trutnev said that it is “not very possible” to talk about specific numbers of Russian commitments. On 8 December at the press conference in Bella Centre, where the UN climate talks take place, Russian NGOs commented the Russian climate policy.
The world summit on climate change opens on 7 December in Copenhagen. Preparations for this conference lasted for years, but recently its results became indefinite. The RSEU opposes the proposals to make a legally non-binding political declaration the sole result of the summit. The RSEU position is expressed in the Statement of non-governmental organisations from Belarus, Russia and Ukraine on the forthcoming summit. RSEU members will take part in the conference as public observers and will express their position to the public and media during the negotiations.
The British Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) published a study, saying that if temperatures continued to increase at the present rate, by 2100 the sea level would rise by up to 1.4 metres — twice that predicted two years ago.
Recently, in late November Russian Federal Law "On energy saving and improvement of energy efficiency" came into force. To make this law working instrument several additional governmental decrees as well as special federal programs of action should be adopted. RSEU considers that the big disadvantage of this Law is excluding from the draft the important chapter, devoted to the rights of ordinary energy consumers.
Russia's state TV makes a hasty conclusion that "in recent years, the temperature on Earth has not increased" and "global warming is actually a hoax."
A new study has been published on possible negative consequences of climate change on the forests of Russia, Northern America and Scandinavia. According to Russian NGOs, protection of boreal forests should become one of prioritires of the international climate agreements.
Reuters Reuters publication 18 of November on new Russian target for reduction of CO2 emission 18 of November has published a article
Reuters information agency has published an article “Russia steps up pledge for climate action” on the new Russian target 20-25% , which President Medvedev had mentioned at the EU-Russa talks in Stockholm 18 of November.
RSEU Conference on Public Participation in Development of National Climate and Energy Policy Adopted the Appeal to Russian President and Government
On November 13 and 14, the Russian Socio-Ecological Union held in St.Petersburg the conference “Public Participation in Development of National Climate and Energy Policy”. Leading experts on climate change, energy policy, energy efficiency, Kyoto Protocol mechanisms made their presentations at the Conference. The Conference participants discussed the development of the national policy, and the experience and action plans of NGOs on climate and energy.
The Conference participants adopted the Appeal to Russian President and Government. In the Appeal, the immediate necessary measures on formation and implementation of the effective climate policy of Russia are proposed.
International Conference in St.Petersburg on NGO Involvement in Climate and Energy will be held by RSEU
November 12-13 Russian Socio-Ecological Union held in St.Petersburg the international conference “Strengthening NGO Involvement in Climate and Energy Policy-making”. Participants from Belarus, Russia and Ukraine exchanged experience of lobby work for better national climate/energy policy, NGO watch of climate negotiation and promotion of climate friendly energy solutions on national and local level. Participants has approved the Statement of Belarusian, Russian and Ukrainian NGOs on UN Climate conference in Copenhagen.
Statement of Belarusian, Russian and Ukrainian NGOs
A Governmental Decree authorized Russian Sberbank to conduct competitions for Joint Implementation projects under the Kyoto Protocol. The new procedure makes realization of such projects in Russia more dificult, while they could lead to reduction of 240 million tons of emissions of greenhouse gases.
On November 13 and 14, the Russian Socio-Ecological Union holds in St.Petersburg the conference “Public Participation in Development of National Climate and Energy Policy”. The goals of the conference include:
- joining NGOs involved in climate and energy issues;
- working out the RSEU Position on climate and energy towards Copenhagen summit in December 2009;
- preparing RSEU Action Plan on involving NGOs and enhancing efficiency of their activities n climate and energy issues after the Copenhagen summit.
International Conference on NGO Involvement in Climate and Energy will be held by RSEU in St.Petersburg
November 12-13 Russian Socio-Ecological Union holds in St.Petersburg the international conference “Strengthening NGO Involvement in Climate and Energy Policy-making” will start. Participants - experts and NGO activists from Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, and RSEU partners: WECF, Germany and Norges Naturvernforbund, Norway.
Russian NGOs at the climate negotiations in Barselona demand speeding up the negotiations for a new climate agreement. Earlier this week, Russian prime minister Putin outlined the conditions under which Russia may join this agreement.
On October 24, the International Day of Climate Action, Russian Socio-Ecological Union, WWF (Moscow), Greenpeace Russia and several other NGOs appealed to President Dmitry Medvedev with a letter in which they made suggestions on position of the Russian Federation to the Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention in Copenhagen.
On 12 October, the First Channel of the Russian TV has shown a ‘documentary’, which denied connection between global warming and human activities, gave ignorant arguments and misrepresentations of the Kyoto Protocol, and climate research results.
The RSEU Climate Secretariat states that propaganda of inaction in the sphere of adaptation to climate change and cuts of GHG emissions is harmful both for Russia and for the whole world. The RSEU is sure that transition to high-tech energy-efficient technologies will contribute not only in cuts of GHG emissions, but in reaching competitiveness of the Russian economy.
The President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev admitted that the situation with the energy efficiency really is alarming. The energy intensiveness of Russia’s GDP is way above that of developed countries. Energy losses in the country’s heating system come to more than 50 percent. (http://eng.kremlin.ru/speeches/2009/09/30/1951_type82913_221945.shtml )
The Russian Socio-Ecological Union expresses its regret that today the statements of the reserves in energy efficiency and energy saving do not come along with Russia’s commitments on reduction of GHG emissions, which, with consideration for the statement of the President, could exceed 40 % of the 1990 level.
Russian citizens give recommendations to politicians in the run-up to international climate negotiations
On 26 September, the Climate Secretariat of the Russian Socio-Ecological Union and Friends of the Baltic NGO held the Day of Public Consultations on Climate Change in St.Petersburg, Russia. During the day, a hundred of people of different ages, occupations, social status and education level expressed their opinions on the issues of the climate change, the international climate negotiations, and voiced out their recommendations on these issues to politicians.(http://results.wwviews.org/new2/?cid=blank&gid=1631&ccid=blank&cgid=blank&question=blank&rec=0)
The citizens’ recommendations that Russia, along with other countries, must take commitments on cuts of GHG emissions and on contributions in international measures for climate change adaptation will be delivered to the official delegation of the Russian Federation at the international climate negotiations.
Russian NGOs comment and criticize strategic tacks for Russia set in the President’s article on September 10
On September 10, the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has published an article about national strategic tasks (http://www.kremlin.ru/transcripts/5413). In it, among five strategic vectors of economic modernization, he named securing the leading role of Russia in efficiency of energy production, transportation and consumption, development and putting to the international market new types of fuel, and development of nuclear technologies.
Russian NGOs are sure that Russia must abandon nuclear energy and set a goal to reduce risks of negative impact of technogenic climate change as a priority. Now Russian policy shows no practical steps towards efficient low-carbon energy sector.
Russia will reject any new climate change pact if the United States and China take no binding commitments
According to Reuters of 11 Sept 2009, Russia demands U.S. back any new climate deal. The communication mentions Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s statement on Friday that he would reject any new climate change pact that imposed restrictions on Russia but not bind other big polluters, like the United States or China. The Russian Socio-Ecological Union sees Russia’s commitments on cutting GHG emissions as a stimulus to transfer the national economy to energy efficient technologies, to be taken independently of commitments by other countries.
Joint Implementation Projects do not work in Russia, though they promise to cut GHG emissions by hundreds of millions tons
Not a single Joint Implementation Project (JIP) has started in Russia yet, though this country joined the Kyoto Protocol almost five years ago, and a year and a half of its commitment period (2008-2012) has passed already. In May 2007, the Russian Government adopted the decree on the order of joint implementation of projects according to Article 6 of the Kyoto Protocol on the territory of Russia. This arose a wave of JIP proposals, which could enable to cut GHG emissions by hundreds of millions tons of CO2 equivalent during the period from 2008 to 2012. But none of these projects have been started yet.
August 18th, 2009: At the negotiations now taking place in Bonn Russia repeated the statement concerning the planned emissions reduction by 10-15% until 2020 compared to the 1990 level. Current emissions are 33 to 34% lower than those of 1990, thus the so-called “reduction” of 10 to 15% from the same level actually means the overall increase of emissions.
Another number voiced out was “30 billion tons of СО2 equivalent” total emission reduction during 30 years starting from 1990. Translated, that means that in the period from 2013 to 2020 the average emissions level will be 21% lower than that of 1990. But the number of 30 billion tons may only be achieved in case the reduction of at least 15% takes place.
The Russian Government agreed with NGO opinion about the necessity to stir up the Kyoto Protocol mechanisms and forming the Russian position for post-Kyoto. What’s next?
Responding to the NGO Statement “Stop greenhouse gases emissions!” adopted at the All-Russian Conference “Green Movement and Environmental Challenges”, the Director of the Department for State Policy and Regulations in the Sphere of Environmental Protection and Environmental Safety admitted that “The complex procedure for consideration and approval of such projects (JIPs) lowers down investment attractiveness of the Russian energy sector…”
International bicycle environmental conference made its way from the White Sea coast to Lake Onega in the first half of June. It was organized by the Centre for Environmental Initiatives and Friends of the Baltic in co-operation with the Karelain Council of All-Russia Society for Nature Protection, Dodo – Living Nature for the Future (Finland), and Association of St.Petersburg Environmental Journalists.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev detailed a 2020 goal to trim greenhouse gases by 10-15 percent. This is twice as low as the level urged by the Russian NGOs and confirmed by many experts, with account for huge Russia’s potential for energy efficiency and renewables.
The head of the UN Climate Change Secretariat said that Japan and Russia should publish 2020 goals for greenhouse gas emissions
Russian Environmental NGOs have made many statements that Russia can and should publish 2020 goals for greenhouse gas emissions. The Russian delegation at Bonn negotiations has made no statements concerning Russian 2020 commitments. The head of the UN Climate Change Secretariat Yvo de Boer said on June 8 that Japan and Russia should publish 2020 goals for greenhouse gas emissions.
The Russian Cabinet discussed the draft climate doctrine in April 2009 under the leadership of Prime •
Minister Vladimir Putin. As the costs and benefits of both climate change and domestic mitigation
measures have been raised, the doctrine could mark a change of the Russian government’s approach to
the issue. However, these positive developments in the country must be encouraged by international
recognition. The recognition that some mitigation measures can have a positive impact on the Russian economy is •significant as this goes against the traditional line of argumentation used during the Kyoto ratification debate.
NGOs and officials discuss Russian position at the Bann Climate Change talks.
As a result of pressure and efforts from Russian NGO-observers the Russian Delegation agrees to carry out a side event 01 of June 2009 during the Bonn
talks (28th Sessions of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Bodies and Sessions of the AWGs).
That gives a great opportunity to everyone to ask all the questions directly to the leading Russian negotiators (information from Andrey Ozharovskij, Ecodefense).
the Russian Cabinet of Ministers has discussed and approved the draft Climate Doctrine for Russia, which was presented by Jury Trutnev, Minister of Nature Use and Environment. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has argued that a concrete domestic plan for action on climate is needed, and that the policies should focus on improvements of resource and energy efficiencies.
Next step - the President Medvedev should approve this document.
Representatives of environmental NGOs met at the conference with such title under Moscow. The conference was organised by Green Russia faction with the Yabloko party, Heinrich Böll Foundation and Environmental Rights Centre Bellona. 157 leaders and activists from 67 environmental and human rights NGOs (including Russian Socio-Ecological Union, Greenpeace, WWF-Russia, Centre for protection of Wild Nature, and the Union for Chemical Safety) took part in the conference. They represented almost all regions of Russia – Far East, Siberia, Urals, North-West, Central, Privolzhsky and South okrugs.
We, representatives of environmental NGOs – participants of the Conference “Russian Green Movement and Environmental Challenges” (Dubrovskiy, Moscow region, 21-22 March, 2009), noting that according to the reports by IPCC and Rosgidromet, climate changes are fast and will bring catastrophic damage to economics and population both of Russia and of the world, if necessary measures to reduce GHG emissions are not taken
NGO activists who work in nature conservation and protection of environmental rights will find useful information database ECOLEX (www.ecolex.org). It combines the environmental law information holdings of FAO, IUCN and UNEP.
This conference organised by the Russian Socio-Ecological Union was held in St.Petersburg on 10-12 November, 2009. Its programme included presentations about of NGO experience in the sphere of climate change and reduction of GHG emissions, about international negotiations on climate agreements and public participation in this process, about NGO position on scenarios of energy development and possibilities of “clean” energy for Russia.
The Conference participants discussed performed activities, the problems and prospects of organisation development and its role in the Russian environmental movement. They stressed that the RSEU is the Russian national organisation of the International SEU. They also discussed the aspects of territorial structure and strategy for RSEU development.