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The green path of Russia, the world’s fourth-largest emitter of GHG

Russia has approved a long-term development plan to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050.

The Ministry of Economic Development provided two strategies for Russia, the world’s fourth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases. According to a basic approach, Russia will not reach carbon neutrality by 2050, but emissions are forecast to start declining after 2030. However, if the government opts for an intensive approach, emissions could be cut by 48 per cent by 2050, with Russia becoming carbon-neutral late this century.

The new plan includes different measures like the introduction of a carbon price, the development of renewables and nuclear energy, less clear-cutting of forests and the enlargement of protected areas. Therefore, by 2030, GHG emissions would be two-third of the 1990 levels.

The Ministry mentioned also the need for a legal framework ad hoc and a modernisation of the technologies currently in use.

Already in 2017, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) urged Russia to exploit its renewable energy potential.

“Russia has had a long history of leadership in the energy sector, and now has the opportunity to extend that leadership into renewable energy,” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin.

In fact, Russia has a significant potential of all renewable energy sources, with large hydropower and bioenergy being the main sources of renewables in the country’s energy system.

“Further developing Russia’s rich and diverse renewable energy resources can significantly contribute to the country’s economic objectives such as economic growth and employment, diversify the energy mix, improve energy security and reduce energy supply costs in remote regions,” Mr Amin added.

According to the new development plan, also the carbon intensity of the Russian economy, meaning how much carbon it emits per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to drop by 9 per cent by 2030 and by almost half by 2050, compared the 2017 level.

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