Russia has published a draft law to enshrine the principle of the government’s right to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, signalling a basic step towards climate action for the world’s fourth biggest CO2 emitter.
The law is out for public consultation this week and due before parliament before year-end.
It comes months after the government adopted an MRV system for GHGs apply to installations emitting over 50,000 tonnes of CO2e a year that will be introduced next year and made mandatory in 2017.
Despite France’s Environment Minister Segolene Royal encouraging the government to establish carbon pricing policies on a visit to Moscow last month, the issue has all but faded from the government’s agenda amid a budget crisis, crippling sanctions and low oil prices.
Royal spoke at a roundtable that included senior government and business figures including Oleg Deripaska, the billionaire head of aluminium giant Rusal.
Observers say Deripaska is keen to promote his company as an environmental sector champion and may attend the December Paris talks, along with Anatoly Chubais, a former deputy prime minister who heads state-owned nanotechnology firm Rosnano.
Russian policy experts had been left in doubt whether the government will adopt any emission-curbing proposals after it published an INDC in April that would allow its GHG output to climb substantially above current levels.
But Mikhail Yulkin, head of climate at business group Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, told Thomson Reuters Foundation that pressure was coming from investors for carbon regulation.
“The fact that (Russia does) not have such a system only increases our isolation, provokes suspicion and distrust among investors and consumers, and has a very negative impact on business and the economy,” he said.
By Ben Garside – firstname.lastname@example.org