Experts say Russia’s climate plans were already highly inadequate and reliant on carbon accounting tricks
The Russian energy ministry is claiming that international sanctions will harm the country’s ability to meet its climate goals.
Kommersant, a Russian newspaper, obtained a ministerial report that stated that its plans to reduce national net emission by 60% between 2019-2050 would not be realized.
Climate Home spoke with Ryan Wilson, Russia analyst from Climate Analytics. He said that this target was largely dependent on accounting tricks, rather than real emissions cuts, and would not be affected by sanctions.
Russia’s long-term climate strategy plans for recorded emissions to continue to rise until 2030 and decline slowly in the following 20 years, he said.
“The vast majority of the net reductions come from very high projected removals from the forestry sector. These removals would not by affected by sanctions,” he added.
Climate Action Tracker ranks Russia’s climate ambition and action as “critically insufficient”.
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Under Russia’s approved “intensive” emissions reduction scenario, between 2019 and 2030, increased “absorptions” would take away 0.66bn tons of Co2 a year while emisisons reductions would account for 0.29bn tons.
Russia intends to change the way it counts forestry emissions. According to global guidelines for carbon accounting, only emissions and emission reductions from “managed forest”, which are subjected to human intervention, should count.
Russia plans to classify all its forests as managed forests and claim credit for the carbon they absorb while trees grow. Russia is home to around 20% of the world’s forest.
Russian renewable investors warned that sanctions make it difficult for them to build their projects quickly and have asked the Russian government to not penalize them.
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Wilson stated that while renewables projects might be delayed, “Russian renewable energy goals are very modest and were not on track to being met.”
He said that one reason Russian renewables have been slow in developing is because Russian rules require a lot more equipment to be made in Russia.
Boycotts could cause a loss of revenue for Russian oil and gas companies. The European Union plans on reducing its use of Russian gas to two-thirds per year and removing Russian fossil fuels from its energy mix by 2027.
Russia is said to be considering lowering taxes on Russian fossil fuel companies, relaxing fuel standards, and allowing them alcohol sales at petrol stations in response to the falling income.
Source: Climate Change News