NGOs are interested in creation and promotion of regional climate plans

On January 12, RSEU Climate Secretariat held a webinar for all those interested in climate action in Russia's regions. It focused on why climate plans are needed, what tasks they are able to solve, and how NGOs can help in the preparation and implementation of such plans.

In 2015, Russia, along with all the rest of the world, signed an international Paris climate agreement, which implies the development of national strategies and plans for low-carbon development, as well as national plans for adaptation to the negative effects of climate change.

While climate action on the national level is happening at a relatively slow pace, actions at the regional and local levels come to the forefront and are of special significance. The creation of regional and local climate action plans can contribute to the creation of a framework for implementing climate actions of a larger scale, as well as boost the sustainable development of the region and the provision of a safe and comfortable environment for local citizens.

What can environmental non-governmental organizations do in this respect in the regions of Russia? What tools do they lack to create and promote such plans? This was the subject of a webinar organized by the RSEU Climate Secretariat. NGO representatives from 7 districts of Russia expressed their interest in the topic of climate strategies: North-West (St. Petersburg, Kaliningrad, Murmansk, Arkhangelsk region), South (Novocherkassk), Center (Bryansk), Ural (Yugra), Volga (Nizhny Novgorod), Siberia (Krasnoyarsk, Ulan-Ude) and the Far East (Vladivostok).

The experts of the RSEU Climate Secretariat, Head Olga Senova and Ekaterina Uspenskaya, presented the idea, the history of the emergence and justification of the need for climate plans and strategies, and also talked about the possibility of their development and promotion at different levels, in different types of organizations: schools, offices, universities, municipalities, and in cities and villages.

Currently, only a few regions (Barents Region, St.Petersburg, Yugra and some others) have developed model climate plans, or road maps of regional climate action. In the case of Yugra, the draft road map was created largely thanks to the work of colleagues from the youth environmental movement "The Third Planet from the Sun". This document includes educational activities on climate and energy conservation within the framework of the SPARE project. Among the plans of the Third Planet from the Sun is the assistance to one of the municipalities of the region (Pokachi) in the creation of its own climate action plan.

Participants of the webinar discussed the legislative field in which actions are now being taken to keep track of and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to the negative effects of climate change. The Climate Secretariat presented materials on the experience of climate action in other countries, in some regions of Russia, the approximate structure and stages of the development of climate plans, the role and experience of the public in these processes. In particular, the brochure "Climate change - what regions can do" was presented.

All agreed on the need to develop a step-by-step guide to create climate plans in different organizations, exchange information on relevant legislation and best practices, and share experiences and methods that would help NGOs in their regional activities.