Russia Signs Paris Agreement, Adopts Emissions Law By End-2020

Russia will have a law on emissions by the end of 2020, the country’s climate envoy Ruslan Edelgeriev said as quoted by TASS.

Edelgeriev spoke to the news agency after Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed the decree for Russia’s ratification of the Paris Agreement. Introducing the relevant legislation to curb emissions is the logical next step.

“When it comes to further actions, we will have to do a lot of work within the state,” Edelgeriev said. “We will need to adopt a main law on regulating greenhouse gas emissions. After adopting this law, we will see what we need to do next. This is precisely the law that will require a lot of serious work on the part of specialists, the academic community, and the business community.”

The official admitted that adopting emissions legislation will not be easy or quick. He noted, however, that the law will need to be in place by the end of next year.

PM Medvedev signed the Paris Agreement decree yesterday, saying climate change caused by greenhouse emissions could put certain key industries such as agriculture at risk and could endanger the safety of people in permafrost regions, which is two-thirds of Russia.

Russia is the world’s fourth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, so its commitment to the Paris Agreement goals is significant. The targets that Moscow has set for itself, however, are not so significant, according to the Daily Telegraph.

The ratification decree set a target of 25-30 percent of emissions in 1990, to be reached by 2030. But Russia is already emitting less than it did in 1990, the Telegraph notes. In 2017, emissions were 32 percent lower than they were in 1990. This means the economy could effectively increase its emissions and still be within its own targets.

Russia has already begun to suffer the consequences of climate change. The massive wildfires in Siberia this summer were attributed to the warming climate and so were floods in Irkutsk, also in Siberia. One of the world’s northernmost cities, Yakutsk, built on the permafrost, is sinking, also as a result of a warming climate.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com