Russia Aims To Be Carbon Neutral By 2060

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Russian President Vladimir Putin stated last week that Russia — one of the world’s biggest producers of oil and gas and the world’s third-ever largest historical emitter of carbon — is aiming for carbon neutrality by 2060.

“Russia in practice will strive for carbon neutrality of its economy,” he said at an energy forum in Moscow. Speaking about the world’s future energy market, Putin added: “The role of oil and coal will decrease.”

The carbon neutrality pledge follows an earlier ambitious step in June, when Putin ordered his government to develop a plan to cut carbon emissions to below the level of the European Union by 2050.

“The planet needs informed, responsible actions by all market participants — both producers and consumers — focused on the long-term, in the interests of the sustainable development of all our countries,” Putin said. “Russia is ready for such constructive and close cooperation,” he added.

The Russian government has been preparing a new environmental strategy with stronger measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. “The new targets represent a significant departure from Russia’s existing plans, which would have seen emissions increase through 2050 and not drop to net-zero until as late as 80 years from now,” said Katie Ross, an analyst at the World Resources Institute.

Russia is one of the world’s main polluters, she said, and the country’s “new long-term plan is consequential for the world’s efforts to rapidly cut emissions and avoid the worst consequences of climate change.”

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak has previously said it was impossible to “artificially get rid of traditional sources of energy.” Russia is currently the fourth-highest emitter of carbon, and critics say the country is doing far from enough to tackle the crisis. According to many scientists, Russia — especially its Siberian and Arctic regions — is among the countries most exposed to climate change.

Russia has some advantages however, it possesses the world’s largest gas fields, whose usage by-product is H2O – water. Opportunities exist for gas refineries and new gas technologies to emerge with Russia a key driver in new clean fuels.

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Russia Briefing is written by Dezan Shira & Associates. The firm has 28 offices throughout Eurasia, including China, Russia, India, and the ASEAN nations, assisting foreign investors into the Eurasian region. Please contact Maria Kotova at russia@dezshira.com for Russian investment advisory or assistance with market intelligence, legal, tax and compliance issues throughout Asia.

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