Global emission trends: Gazprom

Russia's Gazprom is in the top twenty "producers" of greenhouse gases in the world. Gazprom takes the fourth place among 347 pollutants in the list of Earth Focus Private Sector Carbon Emissions. According to the authors of the report, this list of top climate polluters shall prompt companies to act to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

According to the report by Earth Focus Foundation, the first twenty companies from the list accounted for 58% of total global emissions. Most companies (291 of 347) agreed to publicly report emissions of greenhouse gases.

Publication of the data on emissions of industrial giants has "educational value", from the viewpoint of the authors of the report. A small number of companies that are world leaders in production have a disproportionately large amount of carbon dioxide emissions. Namely they, the recipients of the greatest benefits, should be responsible for reductions. Assessments of experts from the Earth Focus Foundation show that, in order to achieve the global goal of stabilizing emissions set in the report of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), there shall be an average reduction of 1.7% per year between 2010 and 2050. Results of comparing the data presented in the report show that during the period from 2010 to 2011, 129 companies had found the possibilities of reducing emissions, and 162 companies either retained the emissions levels or increased them.

Russia's Gazprom got in the list of leaders of "climate pollutants," leaving ahead (by a small margin) the world industrial giants - Arcelor Mittal registered in Luxembourg, German RWE, and American Exxon Mobil.

It is important to note that the Russian gas giant has repeatedly declared implementation of voluntary mechanisms of environmental responsibility. The report on the results of consideration of environmental policy given by "Business-TASS" states that within the program of energy conservation and energy efficiency in 2011, the company reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 3.8 million tons as compared with the previous year.

According to Western experts, Gazprom Russia Energy has increased emissions during this indicated period by 4.5%, and went up from the seventh place in world emissions ranking in 2010 (131'219'300 tons CO2) to the fourth place (137'184'240 tons CO2).

Recently, Rosprirodnadzor reported a possible revocation of licenses for seven Gazprom gas fields because of serious violations. According to the head of Rosprirodnadzor Vladimir Kirillov, "the issue of utilization of associated gas is still acute."

In May 2011, Gazprom Neft became the first Russian oil company that has completed the sale of emission reduction units (ERUs) in accordance with the procedure laid down in Russia for the Kyoto Protocol mechanisms. Nikolai Seryogin, the Gazprom Neft director, said then that the company expects earning of estimated 30 million Euros by the end of 2012 from the sale of quotas for greenhouse gas emissions under the project in the Ety-Pur field in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District.

Gazprom, however, continues to please supporters of "green development": recently RIA-Novosti informed that a subsidiary of the Russian Gazprom Neft - the Serbian Naftna industrija Srbije (NIS) - has announced the launch of a wind power plant in Serbia next year. 34 wind turbines will be located in Plandiste, with yearly production of up to 240 GWh of electricity.

According to NIS calculations, electricity production from wind will allow to save a lot on quotas for carbon dioxide emissions. "Green" kilowatt-hours produced in Plandiste will be counted when calculating the amount of greenhouse gases generated by the company.

Alexei Belov, the NIS head of "Energy" block, said: "It is clear that development of wind energy is a global trend. In this respect, we are no longer lagging behind big players. However, wind energy is also important as a tool that allows us to develop our basic direction - the generation of gas, - as the electricity market is much more stable than the gas market. Besides, the tariff system used in Serbia makes our project economically feasible, which is also extremely important."

Loss of access of Russian business to the Kyoto mechanisms hinders introduction of new climate-friendly technologies in the country, and hence tells badly on national emissions. It is obvious that private companies are much more sensitive to market conditions and to global environmental and economic trends. It would be good if "green" projects of Russian industrial giants will find ground not only by subsidiaries outside the country, but in this country as well.