Climate Actions

During a recent meeting with members of the Russian Antarctic Expedition, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said that before Russia takes climate commitments related to the future of its industry and economy as a whole, it is necessary to achieve common understanding, common approaches, and common principles. Meanwhile, in Climate Change Performance Index 2012, Russia has lost seven positions, finishing 55th out of 61.

The website of the Russian carbon units registry updated the data on national accounting of Kyoto projects. By the beginning of April this year, 67 projects have been officially approved, with more than 174 million tons of CO2 by 2012. More than 36 million tons of emission reductions are officially recognized as being issued in the circulation. Among these projects renewable energy (most bio fuel) and energy efficiency are on the third place after oil and industrial sectors.

At the meeting of BRICS countries in New Delhi, the Russian Minister of Economic Development E. Nabiullina said that Russia intends to continue to counter "green protectionism." Representatives of environmental organizations and experts in Russia believe that the best option of the struggle for world markets is not rejection of green development, but creation of domestic market for greenhouse gas emission reductions.

After the chaos made by Poland at the EU negotiations on the objectives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, big business comes as an unexpected ally of the European Commission, taking the view that locking into fossil fuels creates the danger of stranded assets when a low-carbon grid looks more and more likely. Representatives of environmental NGOs hope that the viewpoint of big business in Europe will motivate Russian entrepreneurs to invest more in greening the economy.

By the end of 2011, Czech Republic managed to find funding under the Green Investment Scheme for more than 50,000 projects worth 424 million euros. Thus, a small European country completed its plan to attract environmental investments by more than 80% and has already allocated over a half of these funds to finance environmental projects. Meanwhile, Russia continues to lose opportunities to invest in climate projects.

In the end of January, the Ministry of Economic Development of Russia approved three new "Kyoto" projects. These projects will be implemented in the North and in the Far East of Russia, and will add about 10.5 million tons of saved CO2-equivalent, which is about one sixth of the amount initially planned by the Government for the third round of "climate" plans implementation.

Since January 1, all airlines flying over the EU territory will pay for greenhouse gas emissions from aircraft engines. This rule takes effect despite the opposition of the Russian air carriers and dissatisfaction of the Russian government. On December 21, the European Court upheld the collection of quotas.

By the end of the first period of the Kyoto Protocol Russian "carbon stock" will be about 6 billion tons of CO2 equivalent, which in case of non-participation in the second period will simply return to zero. The volume of non-received climatic resources of the country in case of suspension of the Joint Implementation projects (JIPs) since 2013 is estimated at about 1-1.5 billion dollars.

Russia’s refusal to be part of Kyoto-2 implies a lot of losses for our country – for the federal budget, the society and for the environment. But there is an already existing JI mechanism which might be very successfully integrated into Russia’s climate policy, the emissions regulation system in order to stimulate environmental investments into energy efficiency and resource saving projects.

Several decisions on the LULUCF within the framework of the Kyoto Protocol were taken at the UN Climate Conference in Durban, South Africa, the full stop in the discussion has not been set yet. Representatives of the environmental NGOs believe that the new scandalous proposal of classifying all forest fires as natural ones may let Russia relax about its less than perfect legislation and forest management practices.