Public Support to Energy Efficiency and Development of the Civil Dialogue on the Issues of Climate Change and Sustainable Energy

Resolution on the Climate and Energy of the Socio-Ecological Union 6th all-Russia Conference on “Public Support to Energy Efficiency and Development of the Civil Dialogue on the Issues of Climate Change and Sustainable Energy”

August 22-23, 2013, St. Petersburg

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) affirm the importance of the first steps made under the frames of legal acts adopted in Russia in the recent years: the Federal Law “On Energy Saving and Enhancement of Energy Efficiency;” the RF State Program “On Energy Saving and Enhancement of Energy Efficiency for the Period Until 2020;” the RF Energy Strategy for the period till 2030; the RF Climatic Doctrine and the Complex Plan for Realization of the RF Climatic Doctrine for the period till 2020.

At the same time, we note a serious underrun of the State Program because of insufficiently elaborated mechanisms of state support to energy efficiency; weak effectiveness of the complex Plan on realization of the Climatic Doctrine; and lack of interrelations between the goals on energy consumption reduction and plans for construction of new power generating facilities.

We find it necessary to stress that reduction of gas emissions is in our national interests; this should be done employing measures on the margins of profitability in the energy sphere and by enabling the necessary actions for adaptation to the climate changes; to do this we shall:

  • Adopt national objectives on emission reduction by 2020 through power economy measures (without consideration of forest absorption).
  • We shall stress that that the goal announced in the Draft of the RF Presidential Verdict on emission reduction by 25% as compared to the basic level of 1990 is not sufficiently ambitious for Russia because it corresponds to actual emission growth as compared to the present level.
  • Prevent growth of greenhouse gas emissions and enable their stabilization no later than by 2015.
  • Adopt a national strategic goal for 2050: reduction of emissions at minimum by 50% of the 1990 level totally from all sources and adsorbents and strive for 80% reduction. The Complex Plan for implementation of the Climatic Doctrine shall be complemented by a “road map” elaborated for such reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Provide accessible public information on available low-cost measures of energy conservation for saving energy in the residential sector; provide state support for improvement of insulation in high-rise buildings with low heat-insulating characteristics.
  • Develop clear national priorities and an action plan for reduction of carbon emissions (“black carbon”) and decrease of their impact on people’s health and the climate using the statutes of the International Framing Climate and Clean Air Coalition which Russia had adopted a resolution to join to in 2012.
  • Transfer subsiding of nuclear energy and fossil fuels to providing state support to production of renewable energy sources and equipment for them; energy-saving materials for construction; and energy-efficient equipment and technologies.

We stress that atomic energy cannot be considered as a possible solution for the problem of climate changes due to the extreme energy intensity of the technological cycle, unresolved problem of nuclear wastes utilization, risks of accidents, climate sensitivity to the NPSs’ return waters’ heating impact on water reservoirs, wet-cooling towers, and many other factors.

  • We find it necessary to complement the Complex Realization Plan for the RF Climatic Doctrine and corresponding state documents on its implementation by measures for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions produced by transport.

    In the sphere of adaptation to climate changes we find it especially important to:

  • Provide development and implementation of the programs on adaptation to climatic changes for all sectors of the national economy;
  • Pay special attention to the necessity of urgent measures on climatic adaptation of the damming HPSs in connection with the frequenting floods. In order to prevent and mitigate outcomes of emergency situations calamitous for people and infrastructure facilities, introduce the necessary changes in the regulations on the HPS water regime for the periods of extreme water content with consideration of short-term and long-term forecasts;
  • Provide state support to public organizations’ initiatives on public awareness campaigns on the issues of climatic changes and energy saving and to public actions for energy saving in schools, housing sector, and on the common life level. Utilize the 15-year experience of working in Russia and professional resources of SPARE Project (School Project for Application of Resources and Energy) for such information campaign.

On the role of natural ecosystems in resolving the problem of climatic changes, we stress that forests and marshes, being regulators of the greenhouse effect-related processes, also support the regime of natural water drainage, particularly, in the basin of the Arctic Ocean which plays one of the key roles in formation of regional and global climatic changes.

Along with this, forest ecosystems in river basins diminish risks of catastrophic floods and overflows in the periods of snow melting and abundant precipitating.

It should be pointed that boreal forests are the primordial habitats for indigenous peoples living in intimate contact with the nature and most seriously affected by climatic changes. In connection with this, we believe that it is necessary to implement the following measures:

  • Develop a dedicated national objective on СО2 adsorption by Russian forests and preservation of their climate-regulating functions for stimulating sustainable and ecologically literate forestry management in the long-term perspective.
  • Establish a special forest category in the zones of habitat of indigenous small ethnic communities, living in the close relationship with nature, and very sensitive to climate and nature changes. This is important, because sustainable forest management by local communities is one of the efficient mechanisms for preservation of the ecosystem forest functions and increase of the carbon stock without noticeable budget subsiding.

We find it especially important to strictly follow norms established by the Russian law and providing public engagement in the decision-making process on energy and climate issues and consideration of the opinion of local residents and environmental organizations.

In order to support energy efficiency in all spheres of economy, the Socio-Ecological Union implements a public awareness campaign on the “Energy Efficiency as the Biggest, Cleanest, and Cheapest Source of Energy in Russia” and is ready to cooperate in this sphere with regional authority bodies and all interested parties.

We are ready for the civil dialogue on all the above-mentioned issues.

Participants of the 6th all-Russia Conference of the Socio-Ecological Union on “Public Support to Energy Efficiency and Development of the Civil Dialogue on the Issues of Climate Change and Sustainable Energy” (August 22-23, 2013, St. Petersburg, 54 participants from 32 RF regions).