Energy efficiency

November 1-3, in the suburbs of St. Petersburg Russian Social ecological Union/Friends of the Earth Russia held the conference "Climate and energy. Solutions for the future". Event was attended by 62 representatives of 30 environmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from 7 Federal districts of the Russian Federation. International seminar on NGO cooperation within the Civil society Forum EU-Russia "Energy sustainability and climate adaptation of regulated aquatic ecosystems management" and international seminar "Strengthening NGOs in promoting energy efficiency to local communities development and climate protection" happened within the days of conference.

Plans for the Paris Climate Agreement implementation remain the subject of controversies in the Russian business community. One part of entrepreneurs sees the low-carbon plans as a threat to the economy. Businessmen who don’t share this position, experts, and NGO representatives find such opinion quite archaic and put forward proposals for the Strategy of low-carbon development.

On Earth Day, April 22, Climate ambassadors began a nationwide Climate Action Days, which lasted until May the 1st in all regions of the country. The campaign was prepared by Russian Socio-ecological Union (RSEU) and the environmental organization "Friends of the Baltic". It was held in the framework of international SPARE project (School project for the rational use of resources and energy) and the "Climate Ambassadors". During Climate Action Days thousands of students and local people in the different regions of Russia became participants of lectures, lessons, games, contests and other events, the main idea of which was to attract society to solve the problem of climate change.

On 17-19th of May Environmental organization "Friends of the Baltic" and Energy efficiency Center of St. Petersburg held a series of media presentations and interactive lessons on energy efficiency for students and teachers, using SPARE materials at the Russian International Energy Forum (RIEF). Students learned what energy audit is, why we should insulate our apartments and save planet's resources, how to use energy efficiently, without reducing the comfort of life.

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.

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.

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 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.

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. Broshure of RSEU information campaign "Energy Efficiency is Russia’s Largest, Cleanest and Cheapest Energy Source" (Russian version)

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