2 December 2020
Russian Federation’s NDC Reiterates 30 Percent by 2030 Emission Reduction Goal
Photo Credit: Michael Parulava / Unsplash
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In its 2020 nationally determined contribution, the Russian Federation states its target to limit GHG emissions by 2030 to 70% of 1990 levels.

The country subjects its mitigation target to “taking into account the maximum possible absorptive capacity of forests and other ecosystems,” among others.

The latest technical review notes the country’s total GHG emissions, excluding emissions and removals from land use, land-use change and forestry, decreased by 30.3% between 1990 and 2018, and increased in 2018 by 3% relative to 2017.

The Russian Federation pledges to continue to assist developing countries in achieving mitigation and adaptation goals.

The Russian Federation submitted its 2020 nationally determined contribution (NDC) to the UNFCCC, undertaking to limit its GHG emissions to 70% relative to 1990 levels by 2030, or an emission reduction target of 30%, “taking into account the maximum possible absorptive capacity of forests and other ecosystems and subject to sustainable and balanced socio-economic development of the Russian Federation.”

While the Russian Federation claims its 2020 NDC “demonstrates an increasing ambition compared to earlier commitments to limit greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions,” its 2015 intended nationally determined contribution (INDC) pledged to limit the country’s GHG emissions to 70-75% of 1990 levels by 2030.

A recent technical review shows that the Russian Federation’s total GHG emissions, excluding emissions and removals from land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF), decreased by 30.3% between 1990 and 2018. Its total GHG emissions including net emissions or removals from LULUCF decreased by 47.6% over the same period. The technical review of  the country’s latest biennial report, published by UNFCCC on 2 September 2020, confirms that the Russian Federation’s emissions decreased considerably between 1990 and 1998 owing to the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the restructuring of the economy. After 1998 its emissions followed a growing trend, except in 2009, owing to the worldwide economic recession. In 2018, the Russian Federation’s total emissions increased by 3% compared with the 2017 level.

During the review, the Russian Federation clarified that the emission projections related to fuel sold to ships and aircraft engaged in international transport were not included in the national total for the emission projections, and explained that “estimates resulted in values for emission projections that could not be justified.” The expert review team recommended that the Russian Federation address this shortcoming, among others, – a recommendation reiterated from previous reviews.

In addition to the mitigation target, the Russian Federation’s NDC describes its national climate policies, target areas for the implementation of the global adaptation goal, and voluntary support for developing countries.

According to the NDC, the Russian Federation’s implementation efforts focus on fiscal measures to stimulate GHG reductions, increasing energy efficiency in all sectors, and “developing the use of non-fuel and renewable energy sources.” Other measures aim at improving the quality of natural sinks and storage of GHGs. The NDC announces that the Russian Federation will also update its GHG emission standards in line with international standards for quantifying the carbon footprint of products.

The NDC highlights the country’s three-year National Action Plan for the period up to 2022 aims to determine priority measures for adaptation in several regions and sectors such as transportation, fuel and energy, and industrial complexes.

The country plans to continue to assist developing countries in achieving mitigation and adaptation goals through projects in Armenia, Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Iran, Jordan, Nigeria, and Uzbekistan, among others. The NDC describes the Russian Federation as contributing to the global reduction of GHG emissions “by increasing the peaceful use of nuclear energy in developing countries, which helps to reduce fossil fuel consumption.” International scientific and technical cooperation with developing countries focuses on improving energy efficiency of buildings and structures, resource conservation, and the use of renewable energy sources in construction.

The Paris Agreement on climate change establishes five-year cycles to increase ambition, including through NDCs that would grow more ambitious over time. Countries requested that in 2020, parties with an NDC time frame up to 2025 communicate new NDCs, and parties with a time frame up to 2030 communicate or update their NDCs by 2020. Based on the Paris Agreement, parties’ efforts are not only communicated in their NDCs but are also subject to various types of review, including: a review of implementation through the Agreement’s enhanced transparency framework, a review of compliance through an implementation and compliance mechanism, and a review of overall progress through a global stocktaking process every five years. It is through this iterative process of submitting and reviewing NDCs that parties to the Paris Agreement envisaged that the international community will eventually achieve the Agreement’s long-term objectives. The first global stocktake occurs in 2023, and is expected to address mitigation, adaptation, and finance.

The Russian Federation submitted its NDC on 25 November. Lebanon and Kyrgyzstan also submitted their first NDCs this year. ChileCubaJamaicaJapan, MongoliaMoldovaNew ZealandNorwayRwandaSingaporeThailand, and Viet Nam submitted updated or updated their first NDCs in 2020. Andorra joined Suriname and Marshal Islands in submitting their second NDCs. Together, these NDCs represent less than 5% of global GHG emissions. [Nationally Determined Contribution of the Russian Federation] [UNFCCC NDC Registry] [UNFCCC Report on the Technical Review of the Fourth Biennial Report of the Russian Federation]

By Beate Antonich, Thematic Expert for Climate Change and Sustainable Energy

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