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Russia—Falling Behind

Russia is one of the countries with the largest carbon footprints due to its size but it has not yet ratified the Paris Agreement. However, an Action Plan for Improvement of State GHG Emission Regulation and Preparation for Ratification of the Paris Agreement was finally approved on November 3, 2016. A model for state regulation of GHG emissions is planned for release in December 2017.

In the past several years the Russian Federation has released several important state plans related to climate change, including  the Strategy for Environmental Safety of the RF from 2017 to 2025 (adopted on 19.04.2017) and a draft Energy Strategy of the RF for the period by 2035.

The Strategy for Environmental Safety prioritizes meeting the need for adaptation and mitigation of negative climate change consequences for the environment as one of Russia’s main tasks. However, a focus on the consequences of GHG emissions rather than on preventive actions, diminishes the country’s responsibility in respect to its GHG emissions reduction. The Strategy for Environmental Safety identifies tools for implementation of the state environmental safety policy that include naming the regulation of carbon emissions and preparation of a low-carbon and sustainable Long-term Economy Development Strategy. At the moment there is no further information on the possible practical steps to implement these suggestions.

The draft Energy Strategy aims at decreasing the negative impact from exploration, production, transportation, and use of energy resources on the environment, climate and public health.
The Russian Federation submitted its 2030 INDC on March 31, 2015, proposing to reduce emissions 25% to 30% below 1990 levels by 2030. Another long-term Russian emission reduction target was announced at the L’Aquila G8 Summit in 2009. It aimed  at cutting GHG emissions by at least 50% below 1990 levels by 2050.

Climate Tracker estimates that the target emissions levels that Russia’s INDC entails are 3.2 to 3.3 GtCO2e in 2030 (8–13% below 1990 levels, excluding LULUCF). These levels were calculated using the most recent projected emissions for the LULUCF sector in 2030 (Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology of the Russian Federation, 2015). The main assumption for this calculation is that Russia will use a net–net approach to account for the LULUCF sector, which would allow for much higher emissions in the target year compared to a situation in which the target excluded LULUCF emissions. This assumption arises from the INDC statement, according to which the 2030 target “is subject to the maximum possible accounting of the absorbing capacity of forests” (UNFCCC, 2015). This adds considerable uncertainty to the 2030 target emissions levels. Greater transparency around the accounting rules for the LULUCF sector in the INDC submission would enable us to calculate a more precise estimate of the emissions level (excluding LULUCF) in 2030 required for Russia to achieve its INDC target.

Learn More

Report on implementation of the RF’s Climate Doctrine for the period by 2020
Key provisions of the Energy Strategy
Review of the Strategy of Environmental Safety
Climate Tracker Analysis


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