Russian-Finnish Dialogue on Energy Efficiency Can Improve Understanding Between Russia and EU

Photo: Matveev Alexey/

Russian-Finnish Dialogue on Energy Efficiency Can Improve Understanding Between Russia and EU

On 28 September 2021, the first session of the Working Group for Energy Efficiency and Climate Change established under the Russian-Finnish Intergovernmental Economic Cooperation Commission was held online. Its participants discussed national policies for energy efficiency and CO2 emission reduction implemented in the two countries, as well as ongoing and future projects in this field.

There is no shortage of discussion topics, with both countries working on a series of major joint projects. For instance, the Russian subsidiary of the Finnish Fortum Corporation, which has made it into the top three most energy efficient Russian energy companies, has recently secured a contract for constructing several wind farms in Russia with a total capacity of 1.5 GW under a government-funded initiative aiming to develop the renewables sector in this country. In turn, Russia’s Rosatom is working on a project to build a nuclear power plant on the Finnish Hanhikivi peninsula with a capacity of 1.2 GW, which is expected to greatly reduce the amount of CO2 generated by the Finnish economy.

Both sides agreed to cooperate and share expertise in advancing energy efficiency and RES, including in such sectors as construction, public utilities and heating. To this end, they agreed to come up with a roadmap for knowledge exchange in the near future focusing on improving carbon sinks, climate risk assessment, mitigation and adaptation, reusability etc.

Both sides can profit from such cooperation. Presently, Russia is interested in acquiring cutting-edge technologies to rapidly modernize its energy generation and manufacturing sectors and improve their environmental efficiency. As a northern country, Finland can provide both such technologies and valuable expertise applicable in, or easily adaptable to, Russia’s climatic environment -- including in the Arctic.

There is one more aspect worth mentioning. As a EU member country, Finland may become a party to the dialogue between Russia and the European Union on CBAM. By making steps to introduce the climate agenda, Russia demonstrates its openness and willingness to change -- something that may be interpreted as a step towards a meaningful conversation with the European Commission. In this light, the Russian-Finnish cooperation on energy efficiency can play a role in promoting a rapprochement on climate issues and carbon management between Russia and the EU.
Alexander Stotskiy
30 September 2021
Arctic Today