Russia vows to reduce hazardous emissions to 70-75% of 1990 levels by 2030.Reuters
Russia is prepared to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by another 5 percentage points, or to 70 percent of the 1990 level by 2030, the Russian Natural Resources and Environment Ministry reported Minister Sergei Donskoi as saying at the UN climate conference (COP21) in Paris.
Donskoi sai that combating climate change is a national priority for Russia and, in line with a special decree issued by the Russian president, the country has pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to no more than 75 percent of the 1990 level by 2020.
However, if the absorbing capacity of boreal forests is taken into account, Russia is prepared to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by another 5 percentage points by 2030, which is a very ambitious goal considering the growth of the Russian economy, the minister said.
"We hope that the new agreement will provide for mechanisms similar to the economic mechanisms of the Kyoto Protocol. In the first period that it was in effect, Russia managed to carry out more than 100 projects that ensured the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions," Donskoi said.
"As a result, Russia ranked second in the world in the use of the investment mechanisms of the Kyoto Protocol. This made it possible to use the proceeds from the sale of quotas to implement social and environmental projects," Donskoi said.
He said that in order to transition to a low-carbon economy, Russia is setting ambitious goals to reduce the per-unit energy intensity of GDP by 25 percent by 2025 and electricity intensity by 12 percent, as well as increase industrial energy conservation to about 200 million tonnes of oil equivalent annually by 2035.
The energy efficiency of the Russian economy has increased by 9 percent since 2007, the minister said. Overall investment in energy efficiency is expected to total $240 billion in the period to 2035.
Donskoi also said that Russia needs to create instruments for switching to renewable energy, replacing the use of fossil fuels.
"Already today, about half of all new energy facilities in Russia are hydropower plants, nuclear power plants and plants running on renewable sources of energy," Donskoi said.
Experts estimate that the combined potential of alternative sources is about 3 billion tonnes of oil equivalent per year. Russia plans to attract about $53 billion of investment into the renewable energy sector by 2035.
The minister said that more than 1.5 GW of solar power generation will be launched in Russia in the near future. Russia also has huge reserves of geothermal energy, which are ten times greater than the country's fossil fuel reserves. Five geothermal power plants with combined capacity of 80 MW are now operating in Kamchatka.
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