Russia's Low Carbon Modernisation and Climate Politics (compl.)

Approaches for Enhanced Cooperation with Russia in the International Climate Change Mitigation Effort

Project Leader: Dr. Susanne Dröge, Dr. Kirsten Westphal

Project Staff: Oldag Caspar

Background and Relevance

When it comes to bringing into force an ambitious successor to the Kyoto Protocol, Russia's involvement is crucial. Russia is amongst the four biggest fossil fuel related carbon emitters in the world. Given its huge wood- and wetlands it holds responsibility for one of the most important carbon sinks globally.

Moreover, Russia is the biggest fossil energy exporting country and its state budget strongly depends on revenues from the energy sector. Any successful international effort to reduce global carbon emissions will also require Russia to restructure its economy and develop new sources of income. But when it comes to investment into resource-efficient technologies and renewable energy, Russia, like other countries rich in natural resources, is falling behind its international competitors.

In Russia, climate change is increasingly being recognised as a peril for the country. Though being a latecomer when it comes to the formulation and implementation of climate policies the government has now introduced first elements of climate change legislation.

Independent from its climate policy, the government in Moscow currently seeks to significantly enhance energy efficiency and diversify its oil and gas dependent economy. President Dmitri Medvedev as well as Prime Minister Vladimir Putin have repeatedly expressed Russia's desire to enhance and broaden cooperation with Germany and the EU in these fields.

Project Themes

  • Analyses of current priorities in Russia's energy and economic policies regarding low carbon modernisation and climate politics.
  • Assessment of Russia's climate policy approaches, especially the potential for diversification and modernisation of Russia's national economy.
  • Evaluation of developments in Russia which could potentially intensify the Russian-German as well as EU-Russian cooperation on energy efficiency, renewable energy, climate policy, and climate research.
  • Draw recommendations for an enhanced cooperation in the above mentioned fields.
  • Amplifying opinion and information exchange between Russia and Germany/the EU, including positions in the international climate negotiations. Facilitation of expert networks.

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