This new analysis shows that Russia’s climate plans are largely falling flat. Even though Russia positions itself as a climate leader internationally, the implementation of carbon neutrality target outlined in its Low-Carbon Strategy is mainly based on an unrealistic plan to increase forest carbon absorption by 1 gigatonne. Scientific data, however, shows that Russia’s forest carbon sinks will actually decline, making the goal unachievable without additional measures.

The policies introduced by the 2021 Law on Limiting Greenhouse Gas Emissions – companies’ obligatory reporting of emissions and the so-called carbon projects – fail to initiate such additional measures which would generate real emission reductions. Alleged emissions reductions are not verified by an independent third party and ignore ‘additionality’ — an international practice which ensures that business-as-usual emission reductions are not credited under projects.

Photo by Aleksandr Popov on Unsplash

Background

Climate Strategies commenced a project on Russian Energy Transitions in December 2021, building on previous work on the Russian Coal Sector. Following the start of the Russian War in Ukraine in February 2022, we determined to continue the project to maintain insights in the rapidly evolving Russian energy sector. This research was co-authored by a group of experts in fossil fuel transitions and climate policy. However, a number of our experts appear under pseudonyms to protect their identity, as expressing critical views on Russian government policies incurs personal risk.