Photo: Voschinin Andrey/GeoPhoto.ru
Russia Offers Solutions for Attaining Climate Neutrality
The 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) ends today in Glasgow after two weeks of deliberation over key aspects of climate policies. Russia took an active part in the Conference to promote its vision of how to shape the joint action needed to address urgent environmental matters. Here are key points made by Russian delegates at COP26.
- Russia can make the transition to climate neutrality faster than provided for by its newly approved Low-Carbon Development Strategy. Vice-Premier Overchuk, when commenting on criticism of Russia’s “lack of ambition” in terms of climate policies, stated that setting 2060 as a threshold date for completing the transition “does not mean Russia cannot attain this goal earlier. The success of Russia’s efforts relies on availability of new technologies and money to fund the transition towards a zero-carbon economy”.
- In turn, Deputy Minister for Economic Development Torosov pointed out that such funds could be acquired via the green funding mechanism, which had been recently designed by the Ministry based on best international practices. The overall compliance of such mechanism with the international standards (apart from its provisions classing atomic power as green) was confirmed by a team of OECD experts.
- The task for today is to harmonize taxonomies for green finance existing in Russia and abroad. This step is necessary in terms of both establishing the same rules for everyone and creating a single crossborder market for green funding. The latter should enable Russian business, which is expected to bear the bulk of costs associated with the transition, to gain access to international green funding projects and new investors.
- According to the Ministry for Economic Development, at present, the Russian market of green securities is worth about USD 1.5 billion. This figure is believed to grow to USD 4.2 billion by 2024 and to USD 21 billion by 2030. “About 10% of all decarbonization-related expenses should be covered through green funding programs”, said Mr. Torosov.
- Another matter of principle is to overcome the existing differences between the Parties on what fuels may be considered as green ones. Russia believes that what we need now is the principle of free circulation of carbon units based on technological neutrality. In other words, any technology known to help decrease the carbon footprint should be deemed as climate-friendly without prejudice and discrimination. As stated by Economy Minister Reshetnikov, nuclear power and hydroelectric power should be recognized as climate-neutral not only in Russia but also internationally. Mutual recognition of carbon units and climate projects is also a necessity.
- In terms of the implementation of the Paris Agreement, Russia wants to see in place a workable mechanism for Article 6 that would be based on the aforementioned approach and take into account this country’s position on forest projects. According to Minister Reshetnikov, “Effective CO2 absorption is equally important for combating climate change”.
12 November 2021