Russia Russia

Russia’s overall performance is very low and it falls four spots, to 56th, in this year’s CCPI.

As in last year’s CCPI, Russia receives a very low rating in three categories: GHG Emissions, Renewable Energy, and Climate Policy. Meanwhile, in Energy Use it rates low.

Russia submitted its first Nationally Determined Contribution in 2020, which nevertheless was evaluated as clearly being insufficient. The CCPI experts note the domestic target of, by 2030, at least a 30% reduction from 1990 levels is not compatible with the Paris Agreement. Additionally, the Russian government is working on a net zero target, which will be set for 2060, while by 2050, 79% of GHG emissions should be reduced. The experts criticise that the net zero target is discussed in terms of increasing absorption by forests, and therefore they fear potential for fraud and miscalculation. All future targets are calculated without ‘natural disturbance,’ which means the Russian government does not include forest fires in its national accounting.

Because of the politically influential fossil fuel industry, the experts do not expect any improvements in the near future. Regarding renewable energy, Russia supports solar and wind generation, but still at an insufficient volume. The country reached only 2.7% of renewables in the total primary energy supply in 2019. To move away from coal, the government promotes use of gas as an alternative. The federal law ‘on limiting greenhouse gas emissions’ was approved in July 2021. It includes mandatory CO2 accounting for companies by 2023. Carbon pricing mechanisms are under development with pilot projects in some Russian provinces. In August 2021, the government presented an infrastructure program for electric vehicles, which environmental NGOs welcomed.

The following national experts agreed to be mentioned as contributors for this year’s CCPI:  Bliznetskaya Ekaterina (CarbonLab), Vasily Yablokov (Greenpeace Russia), Vladimir Chuprov (Greenpeace)

Technical note: how to read the target comparison graph

The graph above shows the development of a country over the past years compared with its Paris compatible pathway and 2030 target. For all three quantitative categories of the CCPI, this visualisation gives an overview of where a country is right now, where it would need to be to fulfil the Paris Agreement promises and where it aims to be in 2030.

For GHG emissions per capita, the data includes LULUCF, as used for the emissions per capita indicator. This leads to the vast changes in emissions of some countries with high forest coverage.
The calculation of individual country target pathways is based on the common but differentiated convergence approach (CDC). It is based on the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities” laid forth in the Framework Convention on Climate Change. All Annex I countries therefore have a decreasing pathway from 1990 onwards, starting at that year’s emissions. 60 years later, in 2050, these countries are expected to reach net zero emissions. All other countries, which did not reach the level of global average emissions in 1990, are allowed to increase emissions until the average is reached. But by latest 2015 these countries, too, have decreasing pathways and 60 years to reach net zero. These pathways start from the global average.

The Renewable Energy data is given in per cent of Total Primary Energy Supply (TPES) and includes hydro energy, consistent with the respective CCPI indicator. As global distribution of Renewables (especially solar and wind) only started in the 2000s, the pathways in this category start in 2010. All countries have an equal goal: 100% Renewables in 2050, each starting from its 2010 value.

For Energy Use the Primary Energy Supply per capita is shown. All pathways for this category start at country’s 1990 values and meet at global average of 80 gigajoules per capita in TPES.
For 2°C and 1.5°C scenarios, a decrease in emissions by reducing the (growth in) energy use is as crucial as deploying renewable (or other low-carbon) technologies. The IPCC carried out a scenario comparison using a large number of integrated assessment models. From the scenarios available, we observe that the total amount of global energy use in 2050 has to be roughly the same level or a bit higher than it is today, with a margin of uncertainty. At the same time population will grow slightly between today and 2050. We therefore pragmatically chose the well-below-2° compatible benchmark to be “same energy use per capita in 2050 as the current global average”, which is 80 gigajoules per capita in TPES.