Russia joined the Paris Agreement in 2019 and
committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 70-75 percent of the 1990 emission levels by 2030.
However, in 2017 Russia's greenhouse gas emissions were only at 68 percent of the 1990 emission
levels due to the economic downturn in the 1990s. Hence, Russia's envisaged targets have already
been met, and emissions can even be increased. For the time being, the implementation of the Paris
Agreement does not imply high costs for Russia.
The share of renewable energy sources in
Russia's power balance is currently very low, at about 1 percent. Moscow is looking into increasing
the potential of renewable energy sources. It is also carrying out a state program of targeting
energy saving and increasing energy efficiency, which is a key factor in reducing the energy
intensity of the GDP as well as emissions. This area of activity can form an important base for
cooperation with the EU.
One important incentive for the greening of the economy and for
fostering economic collaboration with the EU is Russia's growing integration in the global economy
and the necessity for Russian companies to comply with international standards. This is particularly
the case with companies that operate in the global market and work in "dirty" industries (such as
oil, metallurgy, transport, wood and paper, etc.).
The introduction of climate policy
measures in other countries (standards, subsidies for the producers of renewable energy and other
measures) will lead to a reduction in demand for traditional energy goods. This will threaten
Russian exports, as the share of carbon-intensive industries continues to exceed 60 percent. The EU
plans to introduce border carbon adjustments to countries with no emission reduction targets. The
harmonization of environmental standards with the EU's norms would be highly beneficial for Russia.
At the same time, many problems persist in Russia's environmental policy: Environmental
issues are still not a priority in Russia's economic policy and the interests of resource-intensive
industries remain dominant. There is a lack of cooperation between the state, private businesses and
the public on the development of key environmental laws. Attention payed to environmental education
is still insufficient, although the level has recently increased. Environmental programmes are
chronically underfunded due to economic problems.