Russia has a global role in climate conservation

Global climate change is no longer a problem of the future, but of the present. It needs to be solved now, without delay until tomorrow, and with the obligatory participation of all global players: China, the USA, India and, of course, Russia. The LesPromInform portal published a long article by Olga Kalyuzhnaya, President of the Russian Forest Association, about the role of our country in climate conservation issues. We have collected the most important from the article in our material.

Russian companies on the way to carbon neutrality

The largest Russian companies not only declare a carbon neutrality strategy, but also follow the path of its implementation:

  • Rosneft intends to reduce the intensity of emissions from exploration and production by 30% by 2035 and prevent the emission of greenhouse gases in the amount of 20 million tons of CO2-equivalent.
  • Sibur will plant at least 5 million trees by 2025, and in 2022 the company opened a carbon landfill in the Voronezh Region, where the full development cycle is reproduced - from plant cells to finished forest plantations.
  • Pipe Metallurgical Company is implementing a climate program that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 8% in 2023 compared to 2020 levels.
  • Sberbank plans to reduce the use of paper by 2030, recycle plastic cards and save on electricity, which will achieve carbon neutrality.

Carbon potential

In 2022, the transition to a new carbon regulation system began, which allows reducing the carbon footprint of economic activity through the creation of climate projects. According to VTB Capital estimates, the annual turnover of the carbon market in our country will reach $100-300 million by 2025 and $1.5-3 billion by 2030. However, international recognition of carbon units issued as a result of the implementation of Russian climate projects remains to be achieved. .

At the end of January 2023, the Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation Maxim Reshetnikov advocated the creation of a common voluntary market for carbon units for the EAEU countries. Such synchronization of approaches to the climate agenda and the creation of a system of cross-border trading in carbon units will be an incentive to achieve national goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In order for the single carbon market of the EAEU to start functioning, the countries will have to define common standards, create a system for accrediting validators and verifiers of climate projects, and agree on mutual recognition of the results of their implementation.

Legal gaps

A problem for Russian climate projects is the lack of coordination between the actions of the departments involved in the initiatives, as well as gaps in the legislation. The current version of the Forest Code and 296-FZ do not allow businesses to dispose of potential carbon units from the implementation of forest climate projects, since the plots for them are state-owned. Therefore, businesses are not entitled to own or trade carbon units until the state amends the Forest Code.

Updating the legislation is a serious measure that will encourage businesses to invest in forest climate projects. Such a reform will attract economic entities to participate in co-financing of traditional forestry activities, which should be carried out at the expense of public funds.