Russian Federation

Russian Federation

Geopolitical Informations

Capital
Moscow
Population
145.5 million (2016)

Main legislative bodies

  • Federal Assembly

Latest News

Reactions to first round of national climate pledges submitted to UNFCCC

A series of responses to the INDCs submitted by 35 states have outlined a first feedback to the climate pledges. Feedback was given from numerous stakeholders, inter alia UNFCCC and country officials, climate NGOs and scientists. A shared standpoint is that the submission of national pledges due the first informal deadline of March 31st has read more…

IN DEPTH: A tangled case – Turkey’s status under UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement

Despite joining the position of all G20 members except of the US to designate the Paris Agreement as “irreversible”, shortly after the summit in read more...

IMO takes a step forward to tackle GHG emissions from the shipping sector

The meeting of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) ended on Friday (July 7) in London.  According to IMO’s read more...

Climate Policy Facts

Emissions

Year Total GHG Emissions Excluding LUCF ( MtCO2e) Total GHG Emissions Excluding LUCF Per Capita ( tCO2e Per Capita) Total GHG Emissions Excluding LUCF Per GDP ( tCO2e / Million $ GDP)
1990 3130.35 21.11 1094.53
1991 3079.66 20.72 1134.04
1992 2840.78 19.11 1223.93
1993 2602.62 17.52 1227.75
1994 2328.34 15.7 1256.27
1995 2223.72 15.01 1251.68
1996 2184.6 14.79 1275.58
1997 2080.82 14.13 1198.21
1998 2067.72 14.08 1257.31
1999 2105.71 14.39 1203.39
2000 2149.87 14.66 1114.59
2001 2149.87 14.73 1062.81
2002 2150.62 14.8 1015.03
2003 2185.45 15.11 961.34
2004 2196.15 15.27 901.36
2005 2203.49 15.39 850.16
2006 2266.06 15.9 808.39
2007 2274.33 16.01 747.54
2008 2299.23 16.2 718.04
2009 2190.28 15.43 742.06
2010 2291.57 16.09 742.91
2011 2374.31 16.61 738.07

The line chart shows the country’s carbon emissions by year, expressed in million tonnes of CO2 equivalent (MtCO2e) for emission totals, and in tonnes of CO2 equivalent (tCO2e) for per capita and per dollar of GDP values. It is based on data from CAIT platform provided by the World Resource Insititute, and updated regularly with the most recent data available.

By selecting or deselecting each item, you can compare or give prominence to particular emission trends.

 

Energy

Energy Source Production (ktoe) TPES (ktoe)
Coal 180040,911 114827,436
Oil 506540,975 139079,624
Natural gas 540003,213 382665,403
Nuclear 44760,618 44760,618
Hydro 14317,538 14317,538
Geothermal 429,625 429,625
Solar thermal 0 0
Solar photovoltaics 0 0
Tide, wave, ocean 0 0
Wind 0,344 0,344
Biomass 2943,807 2943,807
Biofuels 0 0
Waste 4011,625 3994,957

The double-doughnut chart shows the country’s energy production and TPES (Total Primary Energy Supply), expressed in thousand tonnes of oil equivalent (ktoe). It is built on data from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development/International Energy Agency libraries, and updated regularly with the most recent data available.

The INNER RING represents the country’s energy production from each energy source, corresponding to the quantities of fuels extracted or produced.

The OUTER RING shows the country’s total primary energy supply of each fuel. It represents the net quantities of fuels made available on the domestic market, after foreign transfers and trading. According to IEA’s definition, TPES equals production plus imports minus exports minus international bunkers plus or minus stock changes.

Differences between production and TPES are significant as they highlight the actual country’s behaviour in the matter of a given energy source. Production values and TPES values of the same energy source may vary widely, especially in case of the much-traded fossil fuels.

 

National Policy

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Russia is a federal, semi-residential republic with a parliamentary, multi-party, civil law system. Russia has a bicameral parliament, the Federal Assembly, as legislative. t consists of the State Duma and the Federation Council. Members of the former are elected for five years, while the members of the latter only possess a seat for four years. The Duma passes bills, which have to be approved by the Federation Council. In order to become law, the President needs to sign and publish the bills. Federal laws have precedence over regional ones and apply to the whole Russian territory. Executive regulations, such as decrees, can be passed by the President. They usually implement acts of law, but the president can also address an issue by decree that has not yet been regulated under any law. Decrees do not fall under judicial review, giving them a prominent position. Normative acts of federal executive agencies and authorities are related to laws. They develop, add and consolidate existing legal norms as part of directives.

The President of Russia is the head of state. The government, which is headed by the Prime Minister, exercises the executive powers. The President appoints the Prime Minister, which is why the President is actually the one determining the direction of policy and representing Russia in foreign affairs. The President can only be elected for two consecutive terms. Since 2012, Vladimir Putin is again the President of Russia after his first two terms from 2000 until 2008 and his time as Prime Minister from 2008 until 2012. His predecessor Dmitry Medvedev became Prime Minister again. The next presidential elections will take place in 2018, as the presidential terms have been prolonged from four to six years in 2011.

CLIMATE CHANGE

In 2015 the Russian Federation submitted its INDC to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), in advance to the COP21 in Paris (see section on ‘International Policy’).

President Putin has sent mixed signs over his beliefs over climate change during the last years and months. While he said at the signature ceremony of the Paris Agreement that solving climate change would be critical for the quality of life, he claimed in 2017 that climate change may not possible to be stopped as it may be of natural origin and that adaptation would be the crucial issue.

Presidential Decree No. 2344/2016
The order includes the requirement to create several studies of the impacts on the economy of ratifying the Paris Agreement. The studies have to be available before the actual ratification takes place. According to the timeline outlined in the decree, the ratification would take place only in 2019 as part of a presidential decree approving the 2030 emission reduction target.

Presidential Decree No.752/2013 on Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction
The decree stipulates the target to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 25 percent until 2020 compared to 1990. As the decree is a framework document, it does not include any regulations. But based on the decree, an Action Plan was published in 2014 by the Ministry of Economic Development to attain the goal. It required the development of GHG emissions accounting and reporting systems at the regional level and MRV systems for businesses. Respective legislation was passed in 2014 as well. In addition, the Action Plan mandated the development of scenarios for the period until 2020 and towards 2030, which have been published in the document “Projection of long-term social and economic development until 2030”. Furthermore, the Action Plan included provisions for the future development of measures for carbon regulation.

Climate Doctrine 2009
The Climate Doctrine sets the strategic guidelines and targets of the Russian climate policy and serves as the basis for the development and implementation of further climate policies. It indicates the recognition of climate change as an important issue and thus represents a strong statement of intent. However, it is not legally binding.
As such, the doctrine highlights Russia’s plans for improving knowledge-seeking, mitigation and adaptation efforts towards climate change. It also draws attention to engaging with the international community on climate change issues, as climate change is considered to be an international problem. In general, the doctrine aims to harmonise climate-related legislation and international standards, improve climate monitoring, adopt stronger environmental standards as well as energy-efficiency and energy-saving measures, and to provide for a greater use of alternative energy sources. In addition, climate change shall be mainstreamed. It provides a series of suggested policies. The implementation of those, however, has not been complete. The doctrine states particularly the Russian Federation’s intentions to implement measures that will (1) increase energy efficiency, (2) develop renewable and alternative energy sources, (3) reduce market imbalances and increase finance towards low carbon measures, and (4) protect and enhance the capacity of carbon sinks. Only the first and third intentions have been developed somewhat beyond the Doctrine level. For instance, federal authorities were required to establish fiscal and financial incentives for energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. With respect to the third intention, targets were set, which were also included in the State Policy 2009 (see below). In general, a minor reduction of the share of natural gas in energy generation was envisaged while doubling the capacity of nuclear power. Beyond that, the doctrine included the development of a national GHG inventory, climate change outreach programmes and anticipatory adaptation measures.
The Climate Doctrine has been followed by the Comprehensive Implementation Plan of the Climate Doctrine by 2020 of 2011. This implementation plan was adopted to provide more detailed and concrete measures for implementing action on climate change. However, the document does not focus strongly on mitigation efforts. The first section of the Plan addresses research and awareness initiatives, the second section focuses on adaptation and risk and impact minimisation in socio-economic areas, and the third deals with mitigation actions through political and economic instruments with a focus on energy intensive, energy based, land and transport sectors.
An unofficial translation of the Climate Doctrine from the President of Russia Official Web Portal is here available.

Government Decree No. 844/2009 on the Measures of Implementing Article 6 of the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
The decree draws upon the opportunities through the realisation of Joint Implementation (JI) projects under the Kyoto Protocol. Thus, it strives to accelerate respective procedures for project implementation and defines eligibility criteria of projects, etc.

At the G8 summit in 2009, then president Medvedev announced the Russian long-term goal of cutting GHG emissions by at least 50 percent below 1990 levels until 2050. However, the target has not been confirmed in any official document since then.

ENERGY

The Russian Federation is one of the world’s leading producers and exporters of fossil fuels (12.4 percent of global oil supply, 16.1 percent of natural gas and 4.8 percent of coal in 2015). In addition, Russia is a key player for nuclear power as it is as well a large supplier of uranium. The export revenues represent a major income source for the Russian budget. Despite recent decreases in international oil and gas prices, revenues have grown due to lower production costs, domestic currency devaluation (natural gas is traded in US-$) and tax reforms leading to a decrease in export duties.
Russia has the fourth highest electricity consumption in the world. Fossil fuels and nuclear energy dominate the energy sector. At the Saint Petersburg Economic Forum in 2014, President Putin declared that Russia intends to increase the share of nuclear energy to at least 25 percent of electricity generation.

Government Decree No. 321/2014 – State Programme on Energy Efficiency and Energy Development
The State Programme updates and replaces provisions and measures of the 2009 State Policy (see below). It aims first and foremost to ensure reliable energy supply, increase energy efficiency and to reduce environmental impacts caused by the energy sector. As such, it includes the target of reducing energy intensity by 40 percent between 2007 and 2020. However, it backtracks with respect to renewable energy – the share of electricity from renewable energy sources in 2020 shall only be 2.5 percent and not 4.5 percent as envisaged under the 2009 State Policy. In 2016, electricity generation from solar, wind, biomass and small-scale hydropower contributed less than one percent to electricity generation (large hydropower accounted for 16 percent).
To achieve the goals enshrined in the programme, the document includes several measures. First, the potential of renewable energy sources shall be evaluated and subsidies provided for the grid connection of renewable energies. Smart meters shall be installed to reach a significantly higher share among meters. In addition, a better energy infrastructure shall be built to overcome obstacles for grid access and to reduce the delay of grid connection from 276 to 40 days. Further, public awareness shall be raised on energy conservation and energy efficiency. For this purpose, seven sub-programmes were defined: (i) energy conservation and energy efficiency improvement; (ii) development and modernisation of the power industry; (iii) development of the oil industry; (iv) development of the gas industry; (v) restructuring and development of the coal industry; (vi) development of renewable energy; and (vii) ensuring implementation of the State Programme. Beyond that, 89 target indicators were defined across issue-areas.
However, the lack of monitoring and swift revision of laws resulted in poorly drafted legislation that has required numerous amendments. For instance, in 2014, a new state programme “Energy Efficiency and Energy Development” was launched, which abolished the previous programme and its established indicators. The new programme is less detailed and less specific in terms of objectives, tools and targets. Additionally, the funding for energy efficiency measures was cancelled. Moreover, the Department for Energy Efficiency and Energy Saving within the Russian Federal Ministry for Energy was dismissed in 2016. Nonetheless, the government plans to restart energy efficiency policies in 2017.

Governmental Decree No. 449/2013
The decree introduced financial mechanisms to support the deployment of renewable energies following a change in perception of renewable energies among the Russian political elite: Rather as seeing them as a competitor to existing sources, they were and are perceived as a complement, which has lead to an increased openness with respect to the promotion of wind and solar power. The decree thereby relies on tenders in the form of capacity delivery agreements, meaning that financial support was given based on the installed capacities and not, like in most other countries, for the electricity generated. Support was provided initially only for solar, wind and small-scale geothermal projects but was extended in 2015 to include biogas, biomass and landfill gas as well. Additionally, support was expanded to the retail electricity market in 2015, after it had only been granted on the wholesale market through the 2013 decree. This had excluded the deployment in remote areas, where there is the largest potential for renewable energies. Moreover, local content requirements of the 2013 decree were lifted in 2015, because these provisions lead to almost only to solar power capacity additions due to a lack of wind power equipment. For instance, remote areas were exempted from the local content requirements and the provisions have been reduced for wind energy equipment. In 2016, renewable energies still received financial support despite budget cuts in many other areas. Nevertheless, the tenders imposed tough guarantee requirements on project participants, who were mostly small and medium enterprises, representing considerable obstacles. In addition, there are only few bids and the commissioning of capacities ensued with considerable delay.

State Policy of Energy Efficiency Increase through Use of Renewables for the Period up to 2020 (2009)
The state policy sets out the target to reach a share of renewable energies (excluding large hydropower) in the electricity mix of 1.5 percent in 2010, 2.5 percent in 2015 and 4.5 percent in 2020. It defines a series of measures to be implemented and monitored in order to attain these targets.

Energy Strategy To 2030 (2009)
The strategy outlines the principles, strategic guidelines, main components and mechanisms of Russia’s energy policy implementation. It stipulates the need for reducing the pollution produced through the country’s energy use in the interests of mitigating against climate change. It also acknowledges that Russia is not yet represented in the global renewable energy market, but that it plans to develop efforts in this sector.
An Energy Strategy to 2020 had already been published in 2003 and an Energy Strategy to 2035 was already expected to be published in 2015 with energy efficiency as one of four strategic goals (including target to lower the amount of electricity used per unit GDP by 40 percent and energy intensity even by 50 percent until 2035 compared to 2010).
Full Energy Strategy to 2030 available as pdf.

Government decree 2009
A government decree of 2009 seeks to reduce emissions from gas flaring, which are globally highest in Russia. Thus, producers are obligated to utilise at least 95 percent of the produced gas and heavy fines have to be paid in case of non-compliance. However, enforcement is weak due to numerous exemption, which is why the impact of the policy is almost negligible.

Legislation on Saving Energy and Increasing Energy Efficiency 2009
This legislation is the flagship energy demand-side policy. It builds on the Russian Federation’s pledge in 2008 to reduce the energy intensity of the country’s GDP by 40 percent from 2007 to 2020. This legislation was preceded by the ‘Energy Strategy for 2030’ and the Energy Efficiency Federal Law as well as related by-laws. This legislation looks to cover all sectors where energy is used. Unlike the Climate Doctrine and the Action Plan, it sets out specific, quantifiable targets. It defines the basic principles for the improvement of energy efficiency and for the encouragement of energy savings, and provides for various amendments to existing legislation in the area of technical regulations, housing, city planning and taxation. Sub-laws define responsibilities and tasks.
Specifically, the law requires compulsory accounting by meters of energy production, transmission and consumption. It defines energy efficiency rules for goods, including respective classifications and labelling, and prohibits the use of inefficient incandescent lightbulbs. Moreover, energy efficiency requirements for buildings and other structures are set out as well as conditions for voluntary or mandatory energy audits. Besides, tax incentives are provided, such as investment tax credits for companies investing in energy efficiency technologies, accelerated depreciation of high energy assets and the compensation of interests on loans for investing in energy saving and energy efficiency technologies, including renewable energies. It was expected that state programmes to achieve the targets as well as decrees on public procurement and requirements for regional and municipal programmes would follow.

Federal Targeted Programme for an Energy Efficient Economy 2001 for 2002-2005
The programme defined targets and outlines measures for energy efficiency improvements. The key targets were to reduce energy intensity by 13.4 percent below 2000 levels by 2005 and by 26 percent until 2010. It provided financial support, with funds partly from the federal budget and municipal/regional budgets. The programme was updated in 2014 by the State Programme on Energy Efficiency and Energy Development (see above).

Rules of Using Thermal Performance of Buildings 2003
The rules replaced the federal building code. As such, the rules established new performance targets, introduced a classification system of the energy efficiency of buildings and encouraged more efficient buildings than required under the code. Moreover, a mechanism was created for identifying low-performing existing buildings and require respective upgrades. In addition, the rules established design guidelines and defined methods for oversight and enforcement.

Heat Efficiency Leveraging Programme 1998
The programme strives to increase the efficiency of heating systems. It was established under the auspices of USAID, the Russian Investment Initiative and the US-Russian Commission on Scientific and Technological Cooperation.

Subsidy reforms
The government has put in place subsidy and service reforms for the communal and electricity services. These reforms include the introduction of market-based pricing systems as well as the removal of subsidies for coal and oil since the mid-1990s (for the industrial electricity sector).

TRANSPORTATION

The transport sector is the second largest emitter of CO2 in Russia. Key policies in the sector is the promotion of gas and electric vehicles and the use of EU-standards for fuel and vehicles. However, the lack of specific targets, indicators and useful data in the transport sector represent challenges.

European Emissions Standards for Vehicles and Transport Fuels
Russia aims to enforce a series of progressively stringent European standards for regulating emissions. These standards are in line with those being enforced across Europe. The aim was to phase out all Euro-3 fuels by the end of 2014 and Euro-4 fuels one year later. Russia has, however, been struggling to comprehensively remove Euro-2 transport fuels. A similar situation applies for the application of European emission standards for vehicles. Euro-4 cars and engines are now allowed to remain in operation in Russia until the end of 2015.

Promotion of gas and electric vehicles
In 2013-2015, the transport tax for gas vehicles was decreased and additional subsidies were given for shifting public transport to natural gas and constructing natural gas stations. The government aims to increase the share of gas transport by 2020 to 50 percent in cities with more than one million inhabitants and to 30 percent in cities with 300,000 inhabitants.
For electric vehicles, the import tax was eliminated in 2014. In addition, Decree No. 890 incentivises the installation of recharging points at fuel stations. Nevertheless, progress so far has been very limited (only 647 vehicles out of 48 million in 2016). Therefore, a programme aims to provide monetary and non-monetary incentives for the owners of electric vehicles, such as the use of bus lanes, exemption from parking charges in cities and decreased highway tolls.

ADAPTATION

As mentioned above, the Climate Doctrine of 2009 and the Comprehensive Implementation Plan of the Climate Doctrine by 2020 also cover climate change adaptation. They delineate the adaptation implementation to various ministries. These include the Ministries of Natural Resources, Regional Development, Public Health and Social Development, Agriculture, the Federal Forest Agency and Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring. Their works largely addresses calculating risks and assessing vulnerability in relation to climate change. Some objectives focus on minimising the risk and consequences of threats from climate change. The 2014 Progress Report on the Execution of the Climate Doctrine Implementation Plan states that measures developed in 2013 addressed the prevention of forest and peat fires, the mitigation of production loss risks in agriculture, the limitation of flooding impacts, and the mitigation of mountain glaciation degradation, dangerous mudflows and avalanches.

In addition, the Strategy on Biodiversity Conservation of the Ministry of Natural Resources includes several tasks for the adaptation of ecosystems to climate change.

In February 2017, it was reported that Russia has started working on a climate adaptation strategy, which shall be published by mid-2018. It shall cover particularly the issues of extreme weather events and permafrost thawing.

 

Main Sources:

Profile of Russia on the website of the Grantham Institute on Climate Change and the Environment

Gusev, A. (2016): Russia: A Gas Superpower Striving for Nuclear Expansion and Starting to Support Renewables. In: Roehrkasten, S., Thielges, S. and Quitzow, R. (eds.): ‘Sustainable Energy in the G20. Prospects for a Global Energy Transition’, IASS Study, Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Potsdam.

Popescu, A. et al. (2011): Overview of the Mitigation/Adaptation Policy Instruments in the Russian Federation, PROMITHEAS-4 “Knowledge transfer and research needs for preparing mitigation/adaptation policy portfolios”.

Sharmina, M., Anderson, K. and Bows-Larkin, A. (2013): Climate change regional review: Russia, WIREs Climate Change, 4, pp. 373-396, doi: 10.1002/wcc.236 .

International Policy

General features

  • Party to the UNFCCC (Annex I)
    • Date of signature: 13 Jun 1992
    • Date of ratification: 28 Dec 1994
    • Date of entry into force: 28 Mar 1995
  • Party to the Kyoto Protocol:
    • Date of signature: 11 March 1999
    • Date of ratification: 18 November 2004
    • Date of entry into force: 16 February 2005
    • Date of acceptance Doha Amendment: — (Russia will not participate in the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol).
    • Russia had a target of balancing emissions (0 percent change compared to 1990) during the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, which was easy within reach.
  • Signatory of the Copenhagen Accord:
    • Russia pledged to reduce emissions by 15 to 25 percent by 2020 compared with 1990 levels, conditional on appropriate accounting of Russia’s forestry sector and legally-binding emission reduction commitments by all major emitters. In comparison to 2014, this implies an increase of 8 to 38 percent of GHG emissions.
  • Signatory to the Party to the Paris Agreement:
    • Date of signature: 22 April 2016
    • Date of ratification: — (Russia is the only big emitter that has not yet ratified the Paris Agreement, only Turkey is as well missing of G20 countries; ratification is expected only in 2019 (see also section on ‘National Policy’))
    • Date of entry into force: —
  • Post-2020 action:
    • Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) submitted in advance of the COP21 (Paris) in 2015 (for more information on INDCs see here).
    • Main actions included in the INDC:
      • Reducing GHG emissions by 25-30% from 1990 levels by 2030, “subject to the maximum possible account of absorbing capacity of forests”.
      • Economy-wide target (including energy, industrial, agricultural, LULUCF and waste sector); covers the GHGs CO2, CH4, N2O, HFCs, PFCs, SF6 and NF3. IPCC guidelines were used for methodologies and metrics.
      • Although Russia has a large mitigation potential due to its high carbon intensity, the Russian INDC target lies significantly above projected emissions levels under current policies, which is mainly caused by the large emission drop in the 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union (in 1998 emissions were already 41 percent below 1990 levels, since then emissions are rising again and projected to further increase through to 2030). The target would hence actually allow rising emissions. The Climate Action Tracker rates the Russian INDC thus as “inadequate”, with being one of the weakest contributions brought forward.

Multilateral and bilateral cooperation

  • Russia has been a member of the G8 until it was excluded due to the annexation of Crimea in 2014. Russia remains a member of the G20 and the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF). It is also part of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
  • Russia is a member of the Global Methane Initiative (GMI), which aims to reduce methane emissions, and of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC), which strives to reduce emissions from short-lived climate pollutants, such as black carbon, methane, tropospheric ozone and HFCs. Moreover, the Russian Federation has joined the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF).
  • Oil and gas cooperation includes European, Asian, Latin American and American companies. Current gas projects encompass Nord Stream 2 (pipeline from Russia to Germany), Turkish Stream (planned natural gas pipeline from Russia to West-Turkey across the Black Sea; shall replace the cancelled South Stream project as the Turkish Stream may be extended by the Tesla pipeline to Central Europe), Altai pipeline (proposed gas pipeline from Siberia to North-Western China) and LNG projects.
  • Russia is one of the leading supporters of nuclear energy. The Russian Federation National Nuclear Cooperation (ROSATOM) is involved in nuclear projects in 40 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. A working group on nuclear energy was established within the framework of the EU-Russia energy dialogue.
  • Within the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), Russia is chairing the group on green technologies and finance. Projects are funded through the New Development Bank. All projects so far were related to the development of renewable energies. Russia received US-$ 100 million for small-scale hydro power plants.
  • Russia actively engages in bilateral projects on the construction of new hydropower stations.

Negotiating position

Russia is a member of the Umbrella Group in the international climate negotiations.