Overview of climate actions in the regions of Russia within the implementation of the Russian Federation Climate Doctrine

In 2014 and 2015, the all-Russia public organization “Social Ecological Union” (RSEU) has carried out surveys in Russian regions on the results of implementation of the RF Climate Doctrine. Letters with requests for providing information had been sent to all regions of Russia.

The responses received showed that the majority of regions have so far taken no systematic measures on studying consequences of climate changes for particular territories, or on developing adaptation measures for various spheres of activities, infrastructures of cities and agricultural territorial units. There are no complex measures for reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases with the exception of measures within the frames of regional energy saving and energy efficiency programs. A whole series of regions have never responded to the request. (In 2014, 67 regions provided responses and 16 regions did not. In 2015, 65 regions provided responses and 20 regions did not.)

At the same time, certain regions are making their first steps for developing complex plans of climatic activities:

  • In 2009, a model climatic strategy for sustainable development had been developed for the Murmansk Region.
  • In December 2013, a “Plan of Actions for 2013-2015 in the Sphere of Climate Change within the Frames of Cooperation in the Barents Region” had been adopted.
  • In March 2014, a scheme of actions for developing regional climate strategies in the Barents Region for 2014-2015 was elaborated. These schemes addressed the Murmansk and Arkhangelsk Regions, the Republics of Karelia and Komi, and the Nenets Autonomous District.
  • On September 29, 2015, the first version of the regional climate strategy for the City of St. Petersburg was presented.
  • The Government of the Republic of Tyva developed an action plan of events for reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases for the period until 2018.
  • The “Plan of Events for Providing Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the Republic of Crimea by 2020” has been adopted.
  • An action plan for studying regional climate change and its possible impact on the social and economic development of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous District has been developed.
  • A “Plan of Events for the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District on Providing Reduction of Emissions of Greenhouse Gases by 2020” has been developed and is currently under implementation.

Many regions reported that they had no practical capacity for inventorying greenhouse gases due to the lacking regulatory base or inadequate financing. For example, the Volgograd Region believes that “voluntary inventorying is not yet feasible because no act in this sphere had so far been adopted, nor the mechanism of its implementation had been settled.” At that, an RF Government Order N 716-r ‘On Approving the Concept of Formatting the System of Monitoring, Reporting, and Auditing of the Amounts of Greenhouse Gas Emissions in RF’ was released on 22.04.2015; it directly charges regions to account greenhouse gas emissions.

There are regions which carry out accounting of greenhouse gas emissions within regional borders not alleging to inadequate regulatory base: Arkhangelsk Region, Leningrad Region, Nenets Autonomous District, Sverdlovsk Region, Republic of Tatarstan, Republic of Tyva, Udmurtia Republic, Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous District–Yugra, Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District.

The following regions are planning to carry out inventory in the nearest future: Kirovsk Region, Sakhalin Region, and Yaroslavl Region.
The Ministries of Natural Resources in the Saratov Region and the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) have brought to the notice of major enterprises in their regions methodical recommendations on voluntary inventorying of greenhouse gas emissions. Accounting of greenhouse gases in the air is carried out in Moscow under the frames of the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP).

Particular regions carry out specific events which can also serve as good examples of climate actions.

1. Despite the fact that according to responses from several regions the scheme of reduction of greenhouse gas emissions down to 75% by 2020 “is not under the competence of executive authority bodies of subjects of the Russian Federation,” which formally is correct, measures for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions are carried out in a whole number of regions:

  • Many RF subjects have successful examples of realization of regional energy saving and energy efficiency programs, including conversion to energy efficient in-door and out-door lighting, improving of building insulation, energy efficient modernization of the heat supply systems and other measures.
  • The target program for “Modernization of the Communal Heat Supply Systems of the Kurgan Region for 2010-2015” (modernization of 600 boiler houses, insulation of highways, etc.) should allow to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by 86.17 thousand tons per year.
  • Estimation of target programs of social and economic development, potential for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and elaboration of a scheme for realization of the Kyoto Protocol in the region has been accomplished in the Sverdlovsk Region. Within the frame of the regional program for energy efficiency, energy consumption was reduced by 20% since 2006 and resource saving amounted to 13,236 tons of oil equivalent per year; an order “On exploitation of energy and resource saving equipment when converting electric boiler houses to alternative types of fuel” has been adopted; an order “On implementation of energy and resource-saving systems of controlling electric drivers of engineering equipment at industrial enterprises and HPU...” has been adopted; it allowed to save 2,460 tons of oil equivalent per year); the EU EuropeAid/126554/C/SER/RU Project on “Attraction of Investments to Energy Efficient Projects in Russian regions” is under implementation (energy balance has been elaborated; emissions factors were calculated; potential of energy efficiency and emissions dynamics have been assessed; documentation on territorial planning was developed, etc.)

  • Organization of works for emission accounting at major enterprises is carried out in St. Petersburg (2014-2015); instruments of state support for project activities and realization of projects for reduction of emissions (2014-2018) are under development; scenarios for economic regulating of greenhouse gas emissions and possible adoption of additional measures for emission restrictions (in 2016 and later on) are in the works.
  • Target programs for small and medium businesses on modernization of enterprises, introduction of energy saving technologies, reduction of energy consumption, and resource-intensiveness and recycling are carried out in the Republic of Mary-El.
  • Many regions carry out conversion of motor vehicles and agricultural transport to gas.
  • A plan for introduction of the Green Standards System of Voluntary Certification of Real Estate is under implementation in the Republic of Bashkortostan (this includes elevated requirements on energy efficiency of buildings).
  • Accounting of greenhouse gases in the air is carried out in Moscow under the Carbon Disclosure Project. Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in 2012 amounted to 6,216.86 thousand tons of CO2 equivalent. Within the frame of actions for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles, “measures for inhibition of motorized mobility in the form of pay-parking in city centers” are under implementation; as of September 2015, requirements on cargo transport regarding its conformity with a particular environmental class will be established.
  • In the City of Kazan, they started in 2013 realization of the project on “Reduction of vehicle greenhouse gas emissions in Russian cities before 2017.” This presumes establishment of a united city center for road traffic, establishment of a central body for monitoring of the impact of transport, organization of intercepting parking lots, exploitation of hybrid and electro vehicles, etc. The state program for developing the market of natural-gas-based motor fuel is under implementation; the project on biogas production of fecal wastes has been implemented.
  • In the Republic of Udmurtia, the republican gasification program has been accomplished (conversion of boiler houses, residential buildings, vehicles, etc.); this has reduced self-production of fireplace wood by SPNAs residents; the system of breathing devices for combusting reservoirs had been installed at all gas filling stations which led to reduction of emissions by 95%; in order to reduce emissions caused by traffic jams, automated systems of traffic control are under implementation; the fuel supplied to the republic is under control; the system of utilization of associated gases is under execution; research studies on the register of greenhouse gas emissions have been completed.
  • In the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District, draft standards for managing discharges of pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions for three levels had been developed in 2013; a system for managing discharges of pollutants, including greenhouse gases, to the atmosphere of the Autonomous District was developed; a cadastre of discharge sources of atmosphere polluting substances has been developed; recommendations for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions are in the planning stage; calculation of the amount of greenhouse gas emissions at municipal units was executed; construction of auto gas-filling compressor stations started.
  • Development of renewable energy sources (RESs) has been accomplished in a number of RF subjects:
    • In the Republic of Altay, an autonomous solar hybrid power station was commissioned at Yailyu Settlement in 2013; the biggest in Russia first network solar power station located at more than 2,000 meters above the sea level with 5MW capacity was commissioned in 2014 at Kosh-Agach Settlement; in the future, construction of a solar power station with 45MW capacity for operation at the wholesale market of electric power is scheduled; constructions of diesel/solar power stations are scheduled for hard-to-reach settlements.
    • In the Belgorog Region, they had commissioned: the Luchki biogas station with 2.4MW capacity in the Prokhorovsky District and a wind power plant and solar batteries with total capacity of 0.2 MW in the Yakovlevsky District; a 0.5 MW biogas power plant of the Regional Biotechnology Center at Baitsury Settlement of the Borisovsky District.
    • In the Kemerovo District, a plant for production of wood pellets was commissioned; technological re-equipping of boiler houses with following conversion to combustion of pellet fuel instead of coal is carried out; discharges from a pig-breeding farm are used for production of fuel briquettes; since 2012, the first in Kuzbass biogas station is in operation.
    • In the Krasnoyarsk Kray, they created RESs demonstration zones: in 2013, modernization of the energy system in Belyaki Settlement of the Boguchansky District with exploitation of an autonomous wind/solar station has taken place; introduction of wind power plants is scheduled for Dixon Settlement.
    • In the Republic of Crimea, 7 wind plants and 6 helioparks have been constructed and are exploited; about 10% of all consumer electrical demand is produced at the account of solar and wind energy, while all components of these power plants can be 100% recycled. In the average, 1MW of such energy facilitates reduction of polluting emissions by 1,014t of CO2 per year.
    • The Republic of Mordovia stimulates progress in production of bio energy and biological fuel and increases the amount of low-grade wood processed.
    • The Republic of Komi performs processing of forest waste to fuel (pellets) and conversion of boiler houses to renewable energy sources (RESs).
    • In the Orenburg Region, construction of solar power plants is under way: their total capacity should reach 100MW within the Region; installation of wind-power and biogas units is carried out.
    • In the Sakhalin Region, a unit with two A-27 wind plants (225 KW each) and Cammins diesel generators (145 KW) operates; increase of capacity of the geo-thermal station from 3.6 to 7.4 MW is scheduled; works on installation of a wind power generator with 450 KW capacity are carried out.
    • In the Tyumen Region, 8 boiler houses operate on forest waste; 62 boiler houses are scheduled for conversion to this kind of fuel.
    • In the Chukotka Autonomous District, a 1 MW wind power plant was constructed for power supply of Shakhtersky and Ugolnyie Kopi Settlements.
    • It is interesting to point out that regions had provided the major block of information on RESs only after the second request, in 2015. This brings us to the conclusion that a major break-through had occurred in the progress of alternative power sources.

2. In the sphere of climate adaptation:

  • In St. Petersburg, development and implementation of the system alerting on environmental and other risks conditioned by climate changes is carried out; an efficient system of protection of the St. Petersburg area against hazardous weather and climate phenomena is provided; certification and control of meliorating systems and stand-alone hydro technical constructions is carried out in the city; a requirement specification for identification of climate changes causing impact on the urban development and safety, and development of practical recommendations for adaptation have been carried out; SP 131.13330.2012 “Construction Climatology. Upgraded Edition of SNiP 23-01-99” were put in action in 2013 and RMD 20-19-2013 recommendations on “Snow Load” (regional document) were issued; the present Law on the St. Petersburg General Outlay in the section “3.9. Events for Engineering Preparation of the Grounds” describes measures necessary for adaptation of the municipal facilities to climate change (protection against flooding, coast destructions, etc.); a series of events in St. Petersburg territorial planning (improvement of the environmental situation, increase of the number of green spaces, emergency warning, etc.) is carried out.
  • In the Rostov Region, together with Voyeykov MSHO they have carried out a study on assessment of tendencies in changes of climate conditions for years 2020 and 2050 for preventing possible negative consequences for the environment and regional economy: recommendations of the Regional Government to authority bodies and market participants had been worked out.
  • In the Nizhny Novgorod Region, realization of the pilot project for “Restoration of peat swamps in Russia with the purpose to prevent fires and mitigate climate changes” has started along with development and realization of measures for adaptation to climate changes.
  • In the Sakhalin Region, regional regulatory norms for urban planning with consideration of climate change factors have been adopted; adjustment of mathematical characteristics of the electric network complex in accordance with calculated factual climatic regional conditions is scheduled; reconstruction of intercompany ameliorative systems is carried out; inspection of flood-prone segments of hydro-technical constructions and modernization of the system of flood prevention events is on; measures for maintenance, protection, and reproduction of forests are under way.
  • In the Sverdlovsk Region, regulatory norms for urban construction design with consideration of local climatic conditions have been developed.
  • In the Orel Region, within the frame of the Kyoto Protocol, works on soil cultivation, forest planting, and agrotechnical tending have been carried out in the area amounting to 504.7ha.

Reforestation works are carried out in many RF regions.

  • In Kazan, development and implementation of regional systems of efficient response to hazardous weather-climatic phenomena are carried out;
  • o In the Yamalo-Nenets AD, forecast and assessment of outcomes of global climate changes taking place in the Arctic are carried out.

These are only a few examples of climatic activities in the regions.
Regions kept writing about problems which they encountered with in the course of implementation of the RF Climatic Doctrine and formation of their own climate policies.

Regions had identified the following issues:

  1. Lack of financing (Arkhangelsk Region, Kurgan Region, Republic of North Ossetia – Alania, Republic of Tyva);
  2. No adequate regulatory base developed at the federal level (Volgograd Region, Jewish Autonomous District, Kaliningrad Region, Orel Region, Primorsky Krai, Ryazan Region, Samara Region, Saratov Region, Tyumen Region, Ulyanovsk Region, Khabarovsk Krai, Chukotka Autonomous District);
  3. Inconsistency within state bodies and structures (Vologda Region, Krasnodar Krai, Republic of North Ossetia – Alania, Tyumen Region, Chukotka Autonomous District);
  4. Competence of regional authority bodies has never been formalized in legislation (Republic of Dagestan, Primorsky Krai, Smolensk Region).

In the response from the Krasnodar Region we can see more specific issues emerging under the present system of accounting and reporting on emissions of greenhouse gases:

  • the 2-TP form (air) is under responsibility of Rosstat of Russia and it does not presume separate accounting of greenhouse gas emissions;
  • presently, no provisions exist for formation of outgoing forms of statistical accounting under the 2-TP form with data on emissions of enterprises;
  • Rosstat bodies restrict availability of data for executive authority bodies of RF subjects by the reason of confidentiality.

North Ossetia wrote that by the data of the regional Ministry of Nature, monitoring of greenhouse gases in the territory of the Republic is not included in the responsibility of the Hydro Meteorological Center. The 2-TP forms of statistic reporting also do not account of greenhouse gases with the exception of methane at specific sources.

The Tambov Region wrote: “Realization of reforestation (the forest belt) is hindered by the lack of a unified designated body in the sphere of control over the status of forest belts and their maintenance and holding reforestation. A part of the forest belts is under the supervision of agricultural enterprises and other land users, while another part is under supervision of railway personnel; and some part is, in fact, unattended. Besides this, there are serious lacunae both in the federal and regional law.

A bright example

There is a good reason to single out a region which has noticeably changed its climatic policy in just one year. In 2014, the Omsk Region responded that the region has only a system of environmental monitoring and annual reporting on environmental protection. In 2015, the same person authored the response; however, the difference was significant. Here is the list of events which the Omsk Region is presently carrying out:

  • Regional program on energy efficiency (new technologies, RESs, eco-efficiency, mini generation, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions);
  • The Omsk City municipal program on energy efficiency;
  • Measures for adaptation of agriculture: utilization of more weather-appropriate species in the region; proper placement of cultures in crop rotation; holding a complex of agrotechnical events, etc.;
  • Regional program for enhancement of productivity, farming sustainability, and soil fertility under conditions of climate change and natural anomalies;
  • Program on regulating exploitation regimes for flood-prone areas; a program on “Risk reduction and mitigation of outcomes of ESs;”
  • Reporting on “Special Features of Climate in the Omsk Region;”
  • Possibility of conversion to natural-gas-based motor fuel and construction of gas-filling compressor stations is under consideration;
  • Incorporation of new inside-building systems of consumption records and exploitation of energy efficient equipment are carried out;
  • Application of rational methods of forest management, including reforestation and lessening the number of forest fires.

Responses of regions in the 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2015 as compared to the survey held in the first quarter of 2014 show a clear positive trend. Along with improvement of the RF regulatory base, one more circumstance had played an important role in this: after receiving the query, many regions applied to RSEU for more detailed descriptions of actions which could be considered climatic. RSEU sent short descriptions of possible content of a regional climate plan (at the example of the draft climate plan for the Barents Region) which had, upon evidence from RF subjects’ administrations, helped them a lot.

This shows the regions’ need in methodical assistance in planning and realization of climatic activities. The Russian Social and Ecological Union is ready to provide assistance in this process in the form of an overview of the best practices of development and implementation of climate plans for regions, cities, and settlements.

You can find more specific information on each region’s response HERE
By your request, we are ready to provide you with the official response of a specific region.