Russia is thinking about carbon neutrality. The ideas of the authorities were criticized by Greenpeace

The central place during the meeting was occupied by the coordination of work between state structures,

business associations and companies from various sectors of the economy on the transition to a low-carbon economy.

The government discussed measures aimed ata trajectory of sustainable low-carbon development. The authorities supported the draft law on limiting greenhouse gas emissions. On the basis of this document, a system of state accounting and implementation of projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase their absorption will appear.

Greenpeace Russia stated on their blog thatwelcomes the fact that at least the country has begun to discuss carbon neutrality at the government level. The problem, however, is that in order to achieve the goal of zero emissions, the authorities propose to use environmentally hazardous technologies and solutions that will bring even more problems.

In particular, at the meeting, Alexander Novak said:“We need to have a clear understanding of each industry. As for the fuel and energy complex, our low-carbon fuel and energy balance is an obvious but not yet exploited advantage. For example, the share of environmentally friendly nuclear power plants and hydroelectric power plants is up to 40% in the production of Russian electricity. Considering that exported goods consume only 20% of all electricity produced, we can at least ensure that the purity of the exported products is confirmed. The forest resource also remains our additional advantage ”.

However, when it comes to large hydroelectric power plants, there areserious doubts about their "low carbon". The fact is that greenhouse gas emissions from some large hydropower plants are comparable to emissions from fossil fuel-fired facilities. Hydropower provides approximately 1 billion tonnes of CO₂-eq. emissions per year. This is equivalent to 2.7% of global greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels in 2018. In addition, large hydroelectric power plants lead to the degradation of river ecosystems, the disappearance of populations of economically important and rare fish.

As for nuclear power, focusing on it won't help deal with the climate crisis.The reason is simple - it is not carbon neutral, its safety is questionable, and in addition, it costs much more than renewable energy sources. In addition, it takes a long time to build nuclear power plants and they are vulnerable to the climate crisis.

The idea of ​​the authorities to take into account the absorbing capacity of Russian forests also raised questions from Greenpeace representativesin Russia. Right now, there is no reliable data in the country that would allow calculating this ability. Forest inventory materials (the traditional system of forest assessment and planning of economic activities) with an unexpired period of limitation are available only for 1/7 of Russian forests. At the same time, the attempt to create a system of state forest inventory, undertaken in 2007-2020, can be considered a failure, Greenpeace believes. The problem of protecting almost half of the forests from fires also remains unsolved. As you know, there are zones in Russia where it is officially allowed not to put out fires. In addition, now, on the one hand, the Ministry of Natural Resources declares the possibility of including forests on agricultural land in the method of accounting for absorptions, and on the other hand, it actually wants to prohibit people from engaging in forestry on such lands.

Another problem is that the existingThe bill on state regulation of greenhouse gas emissions so far involves only monitoring them without mandatory restrictions and setting targets for the sectors of the economy, which cannot lead to a real contribution to the fight against global climate change, Greenpeace experts conclude.

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