Russia has submitted to the UN its plan to reduce carbon emissions, but concerns have been raised regarding the plan’s ambition.
Russiahas joined the US in delivering its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) for a UN global climate deal due to be agreed in Paris at the end of the year. In its plan, the Russian government has committed to the objective of reducing the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by up to 30% by 2030 on 1990 levels, even though it said its engagement will depend on other countries’ commitments.
According to the Kremlin, this target is compatible with the long-term goal of keeping global temperatures’ increase below 2C and will allow the endorsement of a low-carbon development in the country, but the WWF-Russia spokesperson Alexey Kokorin believes the plan is “too conservative” and should be reviewed as soon as the national economic crisis is past.
Also, many have criticised the obscurity of the Russian policy in relation to the role of the country’s forests – which act as vast carbon sinks – in achieving the mitigation targets; in fact, according to the Finnish climate negotiator Matti Kahra “unlimited forest sink use would wipe away 24% of their total emissions instantly”.
The UN had set a deadline of 31st March for countries “ready to do so” to submit their national plans, but at the moment only the EU, Norway, Switzerland, Mexico, the US and Russia have issued their pledges, covering 29% of global emissions. China is still doing researches and is expected to release its offer by June, while its yet unclear when other major economies such as Japan or Canada will do so.
However, researchers with the Climate Action Tracker organization have analysed the INDCs filed to the UN so far, and believe that the targets they set will not ensure the world avoids warming of above 2C. Similar analysis will be conduced by the UN in October, when hopefully most of the countries will have issued their plans.
The gLAWcal Team
Wednesday, 1 April 2015