By Irina Slav
Just a couple of months after it announced it will move ahead with a plan for emission reduction, Russia has abandoned the plan, under pressure from businesses that face steep fines if they don’t comply with the new rules.
Bloomberg quoted a statement by the Economy Ministry, which said, “After consultations with the government, it was decided to abandon the specific regulatory requirements. The government will have the right to decide after Jan. 1, 2024 what measures to introduce if Russia is forecast to miss its emissions targets.”
The country signed the Paris Agreement on mitigating the effects of climate change in September. At the time, Russia’s climate envoy, Ruslan Edelgeriev told media that “When it comes to further actions, we will have to do a lot of work within the state. We will need to adopt a main law on regulating greenhouse gas emissions. After adopting this law, we will see what we need to do next. This is precisely the law that will require a lot of serious work on the part of specialists, the academic community, and the business community.”
The business community is clearly not on board with the idea of an emissions cap. Yet it might need to change its stance as the effects of rising temperatures in the Arctic will affect a lot of businesses, chief among them oil and gas.
Temperatures in the Arctic are rising faster than anywhere else, according to the consensus opinion, and most of Russia is in the Arctic. The permafrost has already begun to melt, and while this might be beneficial for future oil and gas production it will affect existing infrastructure adversely as that has been built specifically for a permafrost environment.
The Russian government has estimated the effects of climate change may cost the economy some $2.3 billion annually.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com