Russia offers climate goal with no real bite

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev detailed a 2020 goal to trim greenhouse gases by 10-15 percent. (verbatim). RAnnouncement of the goal is a step in the right direction. However, 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.
Experts say that Russia can allow 20-25 % reduction of GHG emissions by 2020, if the low-carbon development scenario is chosen. This scenario includes urgent introduction of measures to favour energy efficiency in all spheres of the economy, and support to renewables.
Recently adopted laws and governmental decrees open such possibility, - if further steps are taken, including, for example, decisions on bonuses to renewable energy tariffs, priorities for renewables when purchasing the energy, new Construction Code with enforced requirements concerning energy saving parameters of buildings etc.

The Russian Socio-Ecological Union urge on stricter goals for Russia within the post-Kyoto agreement.

Fom the interview by President Medvedev for the 1st Russian TV channel on 18 June 2009


D.MEDVEDEV: First, we [Russia] have taken Kyoto commitments, in spite of definite difficulties, but some major countries have not done so. … Second, Russia’s policy is based on the fact that in the future we will have to make sound decisions on resource and energy saving, and on GHG emissions. One of the first Decrees that I signed was the Decree on decrease of energy intensity of our economy by 40 % by the year 2020. This is a very big and challenging goal. It is very urgent both for us and for the global climate. Now we are thinking about the future, about the post-Kyoto period. What shall we do?
We shall define the limits for HGH emissions, because they influence the global climate in a very negative way. We think that, taking into consideration the present situation, we could decrease the emission by approximately 10-15 % by 2020. In this case we will make our contribution in the global process, not closing our development opportunities. What will this mean in absolute figures? This will mean that the total emissions by Russia during the 30-years period, from 1990 to 2020, will be reduced by 30 billion tons. This is a serious, impressive position. Openly speaking, we expect similar steps from our partners. I told many times: Climate issues should be addressed by everyone or by no one. If we relax, we choose a fatal way.