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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?

09.08.2009

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…” 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? The secretariat of the All-Russian Conference “Green Movement and Environmental Challenges” received responses to the NGO Statement “Stop greenhouse gases emissions!” adopted at the Conference from the Ministry for Nature Use and Environmental Protection and from the Ministry for Economic Development of the Russian Federation. The Director of the Department for State Policy and Regulations in the Sphere of the Environment and Environmental Safety with the Ministry for Nature and Environment writes: “The Ministry for Nature Resources and Environment shares the position of the Conference … on stirring up implementation of the Kyoto Protocol and forming the Russian position for post-Kyoto period… The complex procedure for consideration and approval of such projects (JIPs) lowers down investment attractiveness of the Russian energy sector… We are considering possibilities to simplify the existing procedure… The Russian commitments on cutting GHG emissions during the second and subsequent periods of the Kyoto protocol will be determined during negotiations with the Sides of the Protocol… The Ministry expresses its gratitude to NGOs for their attention to issues related to implementation of the Kyoto Protocol. The proposals of the Conference will be taken into account in the work of the Ministry.” The Deputy Director of the Department for State Regulation of Tariffs, Infrastructure Reforms and Energy Efficiency with the Ministry for Economic Development writes: “… Presently, active work is performed in the sphere of reduction of GHG emissions… The Climate Doctrine of the Russian Federation is at the last stage of endorsement… The President of the Russian Federation declared the 2020 target of reduction of GHG emissions by Russia by 10-15 % as compared to 1990… We are considering the possible parameters of Russia’s participation in reaching the long-term goal of GHG emissions reduction, and tentative national middle-term targets for GHG reduction.” The Director of the Department for International Co-operation with the Ministry for Nature and Environment writes, that “The goal set can be reached only if all major emitters of GHGs take specific commitments… Presently, the Government of the Russian Federation is creating new instruments for state support to introduction of energy efficient and environmentally clean technologies and equipment… For this, a special package of investment products is being developed with participation of the Savings Bank of Russia. This package will be carried out in the form of a new type of state-private partnership, to implement Article 17 of the Kyoto Protocol…” Russian NGOs are confident that Russia has much greater possibilities for reduction of GHG emissions as compared to 10-15 % with respect to 1990. The use of only all energy saving opportunities in housing sector, transport and industry can reduce a quarter of the emissions by 2020. Taking into account that presently the GHG emissions are 30 % below the 1990 level, it means the necessity of urgent implementation of energy saving measures and “freezing” the emissions at the current level. Unfortunately, in spite of the Presidential Decree on Energy Efficiency of 4 July 2008, the Energy Strategy of the Russian Federation aimed at 4.5 % of renewable energy by 2020, the Climate Doctrine, today the initiatives on energy saving and energy efficiency meet serious difficulties. The already prepared Joint Implementation Projects have not been started yet, and candidates for next projects lose their enthusiasm. The majority of businesses do not understand where the possibilities to reduce energy consumption are. Those who understand and are ready to make actual steps forward cannot get credits on reasonable conditions. In the housing sector, the existing standards, monopolism of energy suppliers, and inefficient work of management companies make energy saving measures unprofitable for unions of household owners and condominiums. To make the imminent state ‘instruments’ effective, they must provide favourable conditions and support to energy saving and energy efficiency measures at all levels – “from top to bottom” – from the sector to a specific energy consumer. Necessary is comprehensive informing and education of specialists and common people about energy efficient style of life and production, and support to public initiatives in this sphere. Olga Senova, Alexander Fedorov