Nearly 20 years ago by Federal law N 34 - FZ of November 4, 1994, Russia has ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and undertook to implement "corresponding measures on the mitigation of climate change, by limiting its anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases and protecting and enhancing its greenhouse gas sinks and reservoirs". On November 4, 2004 by the Federal Law N 128- FZ, Russia ratified the Kyoto Protocol.
In 2006 was created the Russian system for assessment anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse. In June 2008 by the presidential Decree No. 889 “Concerning some measures for improving the energy and ecological efficiency of the Russian economy” the realization of relevant programs has begun. As a result of the energy efficiency projects implementation provided by the state program is projected to decrease energy intensity of the Russian economy by 16-29% and by 34-50% by 2020 and 2030 respectively (% change relative to 2011). On December 17, 2009 Russian Federation approved The Climate Doctrine - one of the most important national program that envisaged a set of measures on reduction of anthropogenic emissions, protection and enhancement of quality of removals and reservoirs of the greenhouse gases.
In 2011 Russia announced that it would not participate in Second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, at the same time it has confirmed participation in Durbin Action Plan. In September 2013, the president established an emission reduction target of 25% compared to 1990 levels by 2020. In April 2014 the government set up an action plan to take measures on economic sectors to achieve the 25 per cent goal. On December 30, 2014 the government directed Ministries (the Ministry of economic development and trade, the Ministry of transport, the Ministry of ecology, the Ministry of energy, the Ministry of industry and trade) up to 1 may 2015 to offer suggestions for the organization of investment projects to reduce emissions without state subsidies.
After making the 25% GHG reduction commitment by 2020, annual carbon emissions in Russia increased from 1.66 billion t of CO2e in 1994 to 2.32 billion t of CO2e in 2011 (not including sinks). Pursuant to observers, methods, by which Russia has managed to keep greenhouse emissions at the level less than 70% of 1990, are still essentially limited to the transition to market economy in the first half of the 90s of the last century. The effect of indirect measures aimed to limit emissions of greenhouse gases (to reduce energy intensity, improve energy efficiency, to promote renewable energy development) is difficult to assess. Reduction of energy intensity by almost 40% (see figure) occurred mainly because of structural changes in the economy, growth of power tariffs, fuel and energy prices.
With all the abundance of adopted legislative solutions and state programs, their efficiency and co-manageability leave much to be desired. Strategic documents, prognosis and state programs pay principal attention to the issues of competitiveness, efficiency of Russian economy, of the necessity to account for social and environmental factors. Growth of economic efficiency along with industrial competitiveness under these conditions are possible through increase of value added per unit of energy and natural resources consumed.
Ekaterina Reshetnikova, sustainable investment adviser, Russian Carbon Fund