Russia is betting on zero
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Russia is planning to become a carbon-neutral country by 2060, President Vladimir Putin told the Russian Energy Week forum.

“Russia in practice will achieve carbon neutrality of its economy,” Putin told the gathering. “And we are establishing a definite benchmark – no later than 2060.”

    Over the next 10 years, the president said, net greenhouse gas emissions will be lower than those of the European Union. But annual average temperatures in Russia are climbing more quickly than the world-wide average – about 2.5 times as much, the president said.

    Deputy Energy Minister Yevgeny Grabchak told the forum that by 2035, hydroelectric stations will provide 20 % of power in the country, nuclear power stations 23 %, coal 9.5 % and gas 40 %. And the share for renewable energy sources will stand at 4.5 %.

    By 2050, the figures will be 19 % for hydropower, gas will climb to 43 %, nuclear will account for 25 % and renewables for 12.5 %.

    At the beginning of October, the Ministry of Economic Development presented its programme of development for low-carbon energy in Russia up until 2050. It provides for a 79 % decline in greenhouse gas emissions from current levels. The “intensive” scenario is based on the precept that emissions will rise by 0.6 % up until 2030 and by 2050 will plunge by 79 % from current levels. The “inertial” scenario, with no acceleration in actions undertaken, provides for a rise of 8 % by 2030 and a rise of 25 % by 2050.

    Russian Energy Minister Nikolay Shulginov said Russia intended to achieve zero emissions not through any decrease, but, rather, through compensatory measures — including due account for the factor of absorption by forests. This notion is one of the most widely discussed issues in any analysis of emissions in the world today – should carbon absorption by forests be included in calculations or not?

    “If you consider electricity generation, there are emissions. There is coal on the one hand, while on the other there is absorption by forests, an effect in reducing emissions. When the balance is zero – between emissions and effects in reducing emissions and absorption – that is what can be called the zero effect,” Shulginov told reporters.

    Europe intends to become carbon-neutral in 2050, with the United States and Canada acting on the same timeline. China wants to achieve “zero” emissions by 2060, with an emissions peak expected in 2030.

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