Low-Carbon Development: A Strategy for Russia

Photo: Kuznetsova Alexandra/GeoPhoto.ru

Low-Carbon Development: A Strategy for Russia

The Russian Economy Ministry has reportedly completed drafting a national strategy for low-carbon development of Russia until 2050. The draft will be submitted to the Government when okayed by all ministries and agencies concerned. The previous draft prepared in late 2020 was sent for review in April 2021 after President Putin’s annual message to the Parliament that had set bolder goals for decarbonization in Russia.

According to the basic scenario, which is seen as a preferred one by Russian decision-makers, by 2050, the total net amount of greenhouse emissions generated in Russia will decrease to 1.19 billion metric tons.

Under the said scenario, unlike in the EU, no mandatory payments for emissions will be introduced in Russia. In turn, the emission reporting system is supposed to be a voluntary one.

The strategy places a major emphasis on climatic projects as a means of decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. Among such projects are those of reforestation, wildfire prevention, and watering drained wetlands. According to the draft, such measures will help absorb up to 1.1 billion tons of carbon dioxide thus allowing to achieve the target set by the mentioned Presidential address -- that of reducing Russia’s net greenhouse emissions below the EU levels by 2050.

The draft will be discussed by the Government prior to approval.

Adopting such a strategy will pave the way for a successful transition of Russia towards a low-carbon economy. The world is changing at a rapid pace, which means that new solutions should be found in an expedient and effective manner. On the other hand, Russia should not blindly follow the world trends. Priority should be given to country-specific solutions, with a focus on their cost-effectiveness and sustainability. In this light, the introduction of compensatory measures such as reforestation and improved forest control in Siberia and the Far East may be a good way forward.
Alexander Stotskiy
26 August 2021
Arctic Today