Russia has got the Climate Action Plan

Olga Senova

On 25 April, 2011, the Russian government has approved the Action Plan for implementation of national Climate Doctrine, which was signed 1,5 years ago. This Plan will be a benchmark for forecasts and development programs for Russian territories and industry. Ministry of Economy will make such forecasts in 2011-2020 according to the Climate Action plan taking into account climate risks, challenges for GHG emission reduction, and adaptation.

Unfortunately, text of the Action Plan is not available from the Russian official web resources, although in the Governmental decree mentions this Plan as an attachment. This is an absolutely regular situation when the RSEU Climate Secretariat many times cannot get access to important official unclassified documents on practical implementation of climate policy. It shows that the Russian officials are not transparent and open concerning information, and do not understand the importance of informing the public, public awareness and public support for the governmental policies.

In this situation we can mainly comment the fact of appearance of this document, but not its content.

Russian NGOs had stated that this Action plan should include development of a “road map” for reduction of 80% of GHG emissions by 2050 as compared to the 1990 level. From unofficial information sources we know that this position is absent in the Action Plan.

Alexey Kokorin (WWF Russia, Moscow) said to the Kommersant newspaper (4 of May), that this document was being developed during more than one year, and after that half of the year was under consideration in the government. Evgenij Shvarts (SEU, WWF) said, that there was a resistance to this document in the government, because of doubts how it corresponds to the current industrial policies.

Olga Senova, the RSEU Climate Secretariat, believes that the Russian Government should not cut climate policy to save the industrial policies without changes. On the opposite, the industrial policies should become low-carbon ones, and this would bring benefits both to the national economics and to the climate.

In the year 2011, the Ministry of Nature Resources, which is responsible for implementation of the Climate Action Plan, should prepare the guidelines for evaluation of climate change consequences in various sectors of economics and in different territories. Other ministries should make the similar work within the sphere of their competence (e. g., the Ministry of Health – on the new infectious and parasitic diseases, the Ministry of Agriculture – on yield changes, the Committee for Forestry – on forests and peat fields, etc.).

Unfortunately, the Governmental decree adopting the Action Plan doesn’t imply any funding and staff support for the Action Plan. Nevertheless, experts and environmentalists consider that the main positive output of this document is that it shows: Vladimir Putin now believes in the anthropogenic contribution to climate change. In general, the appearance of the Climate Action Plan in Russia is a step in the right direction.