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Ministry of economic development of the Russian Federation

Maxim Reshetnikov: Low-carbon development should be a source of economic growth, not a brake on it

11.11.2021

Russian Minister of Economic Development Maxim Reshetnikov spoke at the 26th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26) in Glasgow on Thursday, 11 November. The minister mentioned that Russia has historically been an active participant in international processes to combat climate change.

"We need to look for the most effective ways to reduce emissions, to make low-carbon development a source of growth and economic diversification, rather than a brake on the economy," the minister stressed. In this context, he outlined Russia's key approaches to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement.

In particular, the Russian Federation defends the principle of technological neutrality: it is unacceptable to discriminate the results of emission reductions and absorption increases on the basis of the technologies that achieved them. "If a technology, solution or type of project helps reduce net emissions, this should be recognised as a real reduction," said Maxim Reshetnikov. This includes nuclear and hydropower.

Secondly, it is important to strive for mutual recognition and free circulation of carbon units from climate projects. According to the Minister, implementing emission reductions and releasing carbon units should be where projects are more profitable and efficient. "What matters for climate conservation is the reduction or uptake of CO2, not who achieved it or how," the head of the Ministry of Economic Development continued.

Thirdly, climate projects need to be brought out of possible unilateral constraints, he said.

Finally, with regard to the implementation of the Paris Agreement, it is important for Russia to have functioning Article 6 mechanisms that will take into account the principles listed above, as well as the specifics of implementing forestry projects. "CO2 absorption is equally important in combating climate change," the minister is convinced. He expressed his belief that the parties to the Paris Agreement need both ambitious new goals and mechanisms to achieve those already announced.
The Head of the Russian Ministry of Economic Development elaborated on the work on establishing a national system of climate regulation - implementation of the federal law "On Limiting Greenhouse Gas Emissions" and the launch of an experiment on greenhouse gas emission quotas and trading in quotas in Sakhalin.

The Minister talked about the low greenhouse gas emission scenario for the Russian economy as envisaged in the Development Strategy. "By 2030, through the decarbonisation of the economy and the implementation of climate projects, the carbon intensity will be reduced at a greater rate. And after 2030, it will stimulate a structural shift in the economy and maintain a steady GDP growth rate of at least 3% per annum," he said.

The implementation of all decarbonisation measures will enable Russia to reduce net emissions by 80% of 1990 levels by 2050 (60% of 2019 levels). And by 2060, it will allow to reach carbon neutrality.

The minister described the key question for all countries to answer as how much the energy transition will cost and who will pay for it in the end. " We need to balance sustainability issues over the long term," he says.

"Our choice is less emotion, more calculation. We are looking for a balance to meet international obligations and commitments to Russian businesses and citizens. We have therefore halved the costs of implementing the Strategy over the past year. This is important because in the end the consumer will pay for decarbonisation," said the minister.

"Russia is always open to dialogue on the climate agenda. All constructive suggestions are welcome," concluded Maxim Reshetnikov.

The Side Event was moderated by Alexey Overchuk, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation and head of the Russian delegation. The discussion was also attended by Sergey Anoprienko, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology of the Russian Federation, Alexey Likhachev, General Director of Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation, and Vyacheslav Solomin, Executive Director of En+Group.

Source: Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation



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