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This plan is based on Russia’s INDC for COP21, through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)


Description

Summary

This seed proposal is a summary of Russia’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC), created by a Climate CoLab Fellow. We invite other CoLab members to link to this proposal or to use it as a starting point for creating new proposals of their own. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has not reviewed or endorsed this summary.

In 1992, countries joined an international treaty, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), to cooperatively consider what they could do to limit average global temperature increases and the resulting climate change, and to cope with whatever impacts were, by then, inevitable. By 1995, countries realized that emission reductions provisions in the Convention were inadequate. They launched negotiations to strengthen the global response to climate change, and, two years later, adopted the Kyoto Protocol. The Kyoto Protocol legally binds developed countries to emission reduction targets. The Protocol’s first commitment period started in 2008 and ended in 2012. The second commitment period began on 1 January 2013 and will end in 2020. There are now 195 Parties to the Convention and 192 Parties to the Kyoto Protocol.

Countries across the globe committed to create a new international climate agreement by the conclusion of the UNFCCC COP21 in Paris in December 2015. In preparation, countries have agreed to publicly outline what post-2020 climate actions they intend to take under a new international agreement, known as their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs). The INDCs will largely determine whether the world achieves an ambitious 2015 agreement and is put on a path toward a low-carbon, climate-resilient future. The process for INDCs pairs national policy-setting in which countries determine their contributions in the context of their national priorities, circumstances and capabilities - with a global framework that drives collective action toward a low-carbon, climate-resilient future. INDCs are the primary means for governments to communicate internationally the steps they will take to address climate change in their own countries.

Russia INDC states: Limiting anthropogenic greenhouse gases in Russia to 70-75% of 1990 levels by the year 2030 might be a long-term indicator, subject to the maximum possible account of absorbing capacity of forests.

According to Russia INDC submission, reducing GHG emissions by 25-30% from 1990 levels by 2030 will allow the Russian Federation to step on the path of low-carbon development compatible with the long-term objective of the increase in global temperature below 2 degrees celsius.

 


Which proposals are included in your plan and how do they fit together?


Explanation of the emissions scenario calculated in the Impact tab


What are the plan’s key benefits?

Boreal forests have global significance for mitigating climate change, protecting water resources, preventing soil erosion and conserving biodiversity on the planet. Russia accounts for 70% of boreal forests and 25% of the world's forest resources. Rational use, protection, maintenance and forest reproduction, i.e. forest management, is one of the most important elements of the Russian policy to reduce GHG emissions.

Around half of Russia is covered in forest. This in effect absorbs a lot of carbon dioxide, removing around 500 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year since 2000.

Russia says its 2030 pledge will include the highest possible estimate of carbon dioxide absorbed by forests when they come to count its national emissions. This means that, by continuing to manage its forests, Russia knows it will automatically reduce its carbon emissions by 500 million tonnes each year before even thinking about energy efficiency and renewables.

 


What are the plan’s costs?

Minimal, as its primarily relying on its natural boreal forests.


What are the key challenges to enacting this plan?

This INDC submission suggests that Russia's emissions in 2030 will be at the same level as they were in 2020. This leaves a decade of uncertainty. The two targets suggest that Russia's emissions will continue to rise after 2020, peak at some stage, and then decline until they hit 2020 levels once again. However, Russia has not yet indicated when such a peak might occur, nor has it set a total cap on emissions. Furthermore, an additional 500 million tonnes of carbon dioxide can be emitted every year by Russia's energy and industrial sectors before exceeding its target - equivalent to 15% of their combined emissions.

Since it is the cumulative volume of carbon dioxide emitted that determines how much the planet warms, this makes it difficult to assess how far Russia's contribution will go to meeting the 2C limit set by governments. The Russian government stops short of labelling its INDC a target, referring instead to its intended reductions as a ‘long-term indicator’.


Timeline

Until the finalization of COP21, and ongoing.


Related plans


References

This proposal is a summary of Russia’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC), though the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC): http://www4.unfccc.int/submissions/indc/Submission%20Pages/submissions.aspx