Russian government promises climate investments

The Kremlin.

Credit: uuseesti.ee

The Russian government has earmarked $79 million for climate research and decarbonization over the next eight years, The Moscow Times reportedciting Deputy Prime Minister for Environmental Policy Viktoria Abramchenko.

The orientation of the new program, which runs until 2030, will focus on the study of climate change and the development of adaptation and decarbonization strategies. The program is also expected to help reduce air pollution and improve health conditions in heavily industrialized areas of Russia, Abramchenko told The Times.

The program will further establish a system for monitoring industrial emissions and foster the ability of Russia’s natural ecosystems to act as carbon sinks, which is particularly important in light of Moscow’s claim that its forests gobble up 28% of the carbon produced by the country.

“Russia will get its own scientific and methodological basis that will allow us not only to better understand current environmental changes and predict possible risks to regional economies and their residents, but also to effectively reduce these risks,” Abramchenko said, according to the Times. , citing the Russian government website.

The announcement of the new program corresponds to a request from President Vladimir Putin, quoted by Ura.news websitethat Russia “become a leader in the climate agenda”.

Speaking before the Presidential Council for Science and Education, Putin also called for tracking carbon emissions and quantifying carbon sinks.

“In order to take into account all the risks and plan our actions correctly, we certainly should not rely solely on someone else’s calculations,” Putin said, according to the Times, citing Ura.news. “We must objectively and precisely measure the carbon balance in the atmosphere ourselves.”

Last year, Putin said Russia – the world’s fourth-largest emitter and one of the world’s top producers of fossil fuels – aimed to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.

The pledge was one of many instances in which Putin has recently begun to steer his rhetoric away from his past hostility to taking action to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Yet the Russian government’s economic plans released late last year would still see carbon emissions continue to rise by mid-century – in the hope that its forests would offset them. Apart from this reliance on natural carbon sinks, the plans make no mention of stemming carbon at its source by switching to renewable energy.

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