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Events/Comments

Events/Comments

April, 3: a sequential session of UN climate talks opened in Bangkok where the parties are to discuss the implementation of Cancun agreements to this date. One of the main goals now is to avoid the gap after the first commitment period elapses in 2012. Russian Socio-Ecological Union’s opinion is that given the absence of a new agreement in view the Kyoto Protocol should be prolonged with the necessary additions and changes taken into consideration.

A public report entitled Low-carbon future: Ural perspectives was presented in Yekaterinburg. It provides the analysis of the situation in Sverdlovsk region and evaluates opportunities and examples of low-carbon solutions in the region. The low-carbon way would prompt economic growth along with emissions reduction in different spheres of the economy.

Nuclear accident in Japan is a world tragedy and a signal to revise plans for development of nuclear energy in Russia and other countries. Events in Fukushima visually confirm the assertions of critics of "peaceful atom" that the danger level of nuclear power is too great to consider it as a reasonable way to generate energy. The Russian Social Ecological Union signed a letter to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev with the proposal to radically revise the policy in the nuclear industry. The letter requests the audit of security measures of operating Russian nuclear power plants and the development of plans for early decommissioning of obsolete nuclear power plants. The letter draws particular attention to feasibility of refusing to build new nuclear power plants and shifting resources to development of renewable energy sources.

The Ministry of Economic Development has proposed a draft document, according to which the energy efficiency of goods purchased for the needs of budget organizations would meet the highest level. According to RSEU, apart from the requirements the state shall introduce financial incentives for domestic producers to increase energy efficiency of their products, for buyers to increase demand for such products, and conduct extensive outreach on importance of energy efficiency.

On Friday 11 March, the Norwegian Government has decided not to open offshore waters in the archipelagos of Lofoten, Vesterålen and Senja island for oil drilling. Marine waters off the Lofoten Islands are of particular value to the ecosystem of the Atlantic Ocean. This region is one of the most beautiful in Norway.

In November 2009, the Russian State Duma adopted the Law on energy saving and energy efficiency. In accordance with Article 10 of the Law, selling of incandescent bulbs of 100 watts and above is prohibited since January 1, 2011. Since the same date, placing orders for supply of incandescent bulbs for the state or municipal needs is prohibited. Shoppers have noticed the disappearance of high-power incandescent bulbs from the shop shelves.

On January 14, 2011, British Petroleum (BP) and the largest Russian oil company Rosneft signed an agreement on co-operation in development of three oil fields in the Russian Arctic shelf. A catastrophe in the Arctic, even ten times smaller than what happened in the Gulf of Mexico, with high probability will have dire consequences for the nature of the Arctic ecosystems and seriously contribute in global climate change.

The website of the RSEU Climate Secretariat published actual list of legislative and normative documents of the Russian Federation relating to environmental protection. In addition to general documents, the list gives special attention to the environmental impact assessment, and presents documents relating to energy facilities, climate issues, etc. The author of the list is Valery Brinikh, an RSEU member.

In the near future, the Government of Norway will decide on whether to open up new areas in the north of Norway for oil and gas drilling. The sea areas off the coast of Lofoten, Vesterålen and Senja are among the most scenic and biodiveristy rich areas in Norway. Opening them up to oil and gas industry will not only put the valuable ecosystems at risk, but also further increase Norway's greenhouse gas emissions from a large and growing petroleum sector. RSEU supports Norwegian environmental non-governmental organizations in their fight against such a decision. RSEU signed a letter to the Prime Minister of Norway, asking him not to make a decision about opening the Lofoten Islands region for oil and gas production.

Last year environmental catastrophes and climate problems have come out on top in the lists of the leading news agencies of the world, heat waves and fires in Russia among them. However, little real action has been seen in the attempt to address the roots of the climate catastrophe.

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