Improving the Environmental Situation Requires Investment and Innovation

5 september 2017

Russia's greenhouse gas emissions fell to 45.7 % below 1990 levels — the best result in the world, although it owes much to the severe economic crisis, experts of the Analytical Center say in the new bulletin on the current trends in the Russian economy. The new issue focuses on air pollution.

Among the emissions that affect the world's economic and environmental development, experts stress out greenhouse gases, mainly carbon dioxide and methane, and pollutants such as suspended solid particles, carbon monoxide, etc.

According to the experts, the pollutant emission trends in Russia in recent years depend heavily on the nature of economic growth. In the first half of the 2000's, when world oil prices and the Russian economy were growing steadily, the level of pollutant emissions released into the atmosphere was increasing as well. After 2007, emissions decreased by 10% against the backdrop of the slowing down growth of the country's industry and volatile world oil prices. Such a significant reduction in emissions is associated with both systemic activities and restructuring in metallurgy and other sectors of the economy, the experts say. Russian companies got rid of old polluting production units, shut down enterprises, moving the load to more efficient assets with less emissions. Further improvement of the environmental situation will require investment and innovation.

According to the Federal Statistics Service, Russia's air-pollutant emissions amounted to 31.6 million tons in 2016: 17.3 million tons were emitted by stationary sources (immovable processing units, mainly industrial ones, as well as waste tanks and reservoirs) and 14.3 million tons by mobile sources (road and rail).

The greatest decrease in atmospheric pollutant emissions by stationary sources was observed in the regions of Russia, where the heavy, metallurgical, chemical industry and hydrocarbon production are concentrated: Ural (-39 %), North-West (-14 %), and Volga (-11 %) federal districts.

According to BP, the world's carbon dioxide emissions in 2016 reached 33.4 billion tonnes. This is only 0.1 % above the 2015 level, which is a great achievement, the experts believe. Russia is the world's fourth biggest emitter of CO2(1.5 billion tons in 2016). China keeps its status of the world's biggest polluter (27.3 %), which is followed by the United States (16.0 %), India (6.8 %), Russia (4.5 %), and Japan (3.6 %).

For more details, see the bulletin "Environment and Economy: reducing Russia's air pollution"

For the other bulletins on the current trends in the Russian economy, please see Publications.

Photo from open sources