Development of a Climate Policy Needs to Be Expedited

15 december 2017

"The Paris Agreement –a new global agreement on climate change – creates three necessities for Russia," said Analytical Center expert Irina Pominova, speaking at the V All-Russian Congress of Environmental Protection," and the first such necessity is to expedite the development of a climate policy."

According to Ms. Pominova the Paris Agreement is an important milestone but it's only a framework agreement that relies upon national goals and the strategies of the signatory states. The trend towards stricter climate-change related restrictions appeared in the world long before it. In these conditions and given the openness of the economy, the amount of attention being paid to the national climate policy is going to increase regardless of the ratification of the Paris Agreement. In the meantime, the countries that haven't ratified the agreement won't be able to take part in approving the rules that flesh out its provisions and that are being developed at the moment.  

The second necessity is to use a comprehensive approach to assessing the risks of implementing the Paris Agreement and a global shift towards low-carbon development, the expert believes. The current estimates primarily focus on the domestic market while the main threats for Russia, posed by stricter climate-change related restrictions around the world, are external. They include the potential narrowing of niches for mineral fuels and first of all for coal as a result of changes in the energy balances of Russia's key trading partners as well as the possible introduction of green protectionist measures.

The third necessity, according to Ms. Pominova, has to do with the need to define the goal of Russia's climate policy. And it is not so much about a quantifiable long-term target for the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. The modern climate change policies pursued by countries around the world are very pragmatic. As they go about developing their climate change policies they reduce their dependence on imports of energy resources and create export niches for new technologies while improving the quality of air etc. Russia also faces the challenge of diversifying its economy and moving to innovative development. The expert is of the opinion that a climate policy could become an important incentive in this area.

Photo: from open sources