Energy efficiency

Observers and participants of the Climate Conference of the UN FCCC (СОР22) in Marrakech (Morocco) articulate their expectations. Representatives of public environmental organizations push for the global community to abandon hazardous and risky projects and provide support to the development of well-tried low-carbon technologies.

In the days of the UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakech (СОР22), a “Clean Energy” conference took place in St. Petersburg. It was dedicated to the issues of energy and sustainable development, balance of business interests and preservation of natural resources.

Plans for the Paris Climate Agreement implementation remain the subject of controversies in the Russian business community. One part of entrepreneurs sees the low-carbon plans as a threat to the economy. Businessmen who don’t share this position, experts, and NGO representatives find such opinion quite archaic and put forward proposals for the Strategy of low-carbon development.

In March 2016 members of Bryansk NGO "Viola" prepared and carried out announcement of the All-Russian days of actions for climate protection within the international SPARE project. New Program " Climate Ambassadors" was presented to ecologists, members of non-governmental organizations, teachers, students within three days. Actions took place on the basis of educational institutions. Participants got advice on holding actions. Winners of SPARE competitions told about their experience. The new Program arouse a great interest.

More than 6 regions , 12 districts and cities, several universities and colleges, 35 schools, 600 kindergartens, schoolchildren and students took part in the All-Russian days of actions of "Climate Ambassadors" in Central Federal District of Russia.

Moscow teachers got acquainted with the new program "Climate Ambassadors" at a meeting of the Association of Environmental Educators of Moscow. Schools have received information materials in the thematic mailing lists. Members of SPARE school projects made up the volunteers available and scientists were invited to the "climate messengers"program to become partners in the Program coordinated by The Phenological of Russian Geographical Society.

In the present year, carbon intensity of the internal regional product (IRP) should turn into one of the indexes of regional authority’s efficiency. Representatives of public environmental organizations welcome implementation of the data reporting on greenhouse gas emissions; however, they believe that the effectiveness would go higher if regions acquire financial incentives for realization of their plans besides the only moral support.

The end of the public campaign coincided with the wrap-up of a five-year long implementation of the state program "Energy Saving and Energy Efficiency for the Period until 2020". The outcomes of the program are rather modest. Starting in 2015, state finances have been cut, while the main support is going to the coal industry. The forecasted amount of energy to be saved by means of the state program was comparable to total energy generated by the country’s largest power stations! Energy efficiency could have become an alternative to fossil fuels and the dangerous nuclear power, yet so far, its potential remains untapped. Broshure of RSEU information campaign "Energy Efficiency is Russia’s Largest, Cleanest and Cheapest Energy Source" (Russian version)

The economic conditions have changed – both in Russia and the rest of the world, and this situation is presenting us fresh opportunities to develop energy efficiency. This idea was expressed numerous times during the discussions on energy efficiency that were held at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2015. The regions can help facilitate the growth, yet the Government must not cut funding of energy efficiency projects, say Russian environmental NGOs.

Having analyzed the last year’s economic and environmental outcomes, the International Energy Agency came to a sensational conclusion. According to the experts, the economic growth of 2014 was not followed by any growth of greenhouse gases emissions. Environmental NGOs say that such an unexpected conclusion is yet another proof that it is possible to have economic development with a zero emissions growth.

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