Russia Checkup

Russia—Falling Behind

Russia is one of the countries with the largest carbon footprints due to its size but it has not yet ratified the Paris Agreement. However, an Action Plan for Improvement of State GHG Emission Regulation and Preparation for Ratification of the Paris Agreement was finally approved on November 3, 2016. A model for state regulation of GHG emissions is planned for release in December 2017.

In the past several years the Russian Federation has released several important state plans related to climate change, including  the Strategy for Environmental Safety of the RF from 2017 to 2025 (adopted on 19.04.2017) and a draft Energy Strategy of the RF for the period by 2035.

The Strategy for Environmental Safety prioritizes meeting the need for adaptation and mitigation of negative climate change consequences for the environment as one of Russia’s main tasks. However, a focus on the consequences of GHG emissions rather than on preventive actions, diminishes the country’s responsibility in respect to its GHG emissions reduction. The Strategy for Environmental Safety identifies tools for implementation of the state environmental safety policy that include naming the regulation of carbon emissions and preparation of a low-carbon and sustainable Long-term Economy Development Strategy. At the moment there is no further information on the possible practical steps to implement these suggestions.

The draft Energy Strategy aims at decreasing the negative impact from exploration, production, transportation, and use of energy resources on the environment, climate and public health.
The Russian Federation submitted its 2030 INDC on March 31, 2015, proposing to reduce emissions 25% to 30% below 1990 levels by 2030. Another long-term Russian emission reduction target was announced at the L’Aquila G8 Summit in 2009. It aimed  at cutting GHG emissions by at least 50% below 1990 levels by 2050.

Climate Tracker estimates that the target emissions levels that Russia’s INDC entails are 3.2 to 3.3 GtCO2e in 2030 (8–13% below 1990 levels, excluding LULUCF). These levels were calculated using the most recent projected emissions for the LULUCF sector in 2030 (Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology of the Russian Federation, 2015). The main assumption for this calculation is that Russia will use a net–net approach to account for the LULUCF sector, which would allow for much higher emissions in the target year compared to a situation in which the target excluded LULUCF emissions. This assumption arises from the INDC statement, according to which the 2030 target “is subject to the maximum possible accounting of the absorbing capacity of forests” (UNFCCC, 2015). This adds considerable uncertainty to the 2030 target emissions levels. Greater transparency around the accounting rules for the LULUCF sector in the INDC submission would enable us to calculate a more precise estimate of the emissions level (excluding LULUCF) in 2030 required for Russia to achieve its INDC target.

Learn More

Report on implementation of the RF’s Climate Doctrine for the period by 2020
Key provisions of the Energy Strategy
Review of the Strategy of Environmental Safety
Climate Tracker Analysis

Russia Emission Reduction Policy

Presidential Executive Order NO 752 On the Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

This 2016 Russian Presidential Order provides an action plan to reduce the volume of greenhouse gas emissions to no more than 75% of 1990 baseline emissions by 2020. Organizations with emission volume of over 50,000 tonnes of CO2 per year will be responsible for presenting reports to the government on their emissions levels. This target is consistent with Russia’s INDC pledge to the Paris Agreement.  However, to have a likely chance of limiting global temperature rise to 2°C (3.6°F) and thus prevent some of the worst impacts of climate change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states that emissions must peak in all regions by 2020. While not all countries will have to peak by this year, Russia is the fifth-largest emitter globally. It remains unclear when Russia’s emissions will peak, but from the numbers in its INDC, it appears likely to be after 2020. Without an earlier peak date, the rest of the world would have to make up the difference to maintain a likely chance of limiting warming to 2°C.

Russia hopes to develop by 2018 a national climate change adaptation strategy that addresses problems of permafrost degradation, sea level rise, increased rainfall and extreme weather events.
Currently, the Draft Russian Energy Strategy 2035 does not contain any progressive goals or objectives in regards to the obligations on decreasing GHG emissions. Rather its focus is on the relationship of the energy sector to Russia’s overall development.

Russia has yet to ratify the Paris Agreement.

Learn More

Analysis of the renewable energy development progress in Russia

Interactive map of renewable energy assets around the world with a legend in Russian:

Draft Power Strategy of Russia until 2035

Russia Extreme Weather Event

Upward Trend in Dangerous Climate Events

In Russia, the forecast and monitoring of dangerous weather or climate events are a part of the state monitoring and reporting system. On an annual basis, the Federal Service of Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring develops and issues a Report on Climate Peculiarities on the Territory of the Russian Federation with a brief analysis of the extreme and dangerous events.

The number of dangerous events (DEs) for the last 9 years is presented in the table below.

The figure below demonstrates the quantity of the dangerous events and complexes of events (including the hydrological and agrometeorological events) that caused significant damage to the economy and the population. The columns marked red shows the quantity of unexpected, unpredicted events. The overall trend line of the significant dangerous events is going strongly upward.

The most frequent dangerous events are heavy rainfalls and floods, forest and peat fires, and strong winds that help spread the fires. Most extreme weather events happen from May to August/ September each year, due to atmospheric peculiarities.

Weather events that have caused the most damage in the last 3 years include: In 2015, the extremely strong wind in the Republic of Khakasiya (up to 31 m/s) in a dry hot season led to extensive damage to grids, trees and some property, as well as fires in 1,371 private houses in which 23 persons died. In 2016, a heavy rain event in Rostov-on-Don led to a flood in the streets, washed out roads and sinkholes up to 5m2 and damage to 2 bridges. This caused severe damage to power grids and resulted in 6 victims hurt and1 death.

In order to ensure the safety of the population and territories against natural and technogenic emergency situations at the local, regional and national levels, the special centralized Unified Emergency Prevention & Response State System (RSChS) was created in Russia in 1992. The main objectives of the RSChS system are forecasting of emergencies; preparing the population to act in emergencies; elimination of emergencies and mitigation of their socio-economic impacts; and reserving  financial and material resources for emergency response.

Russia Media Organizations

The acute problems of climate change, greenhouse gas emissions, and energy efficiency related issues are widely discussed in the mass media in Russia. As the modern media react faster to trendy aspects of our life, the Internet portals and newsmakers are much more deeply involved and take more progressive positions on information dissemination than traditional print media or TV channels.

Broadcast Media

In comparison with the availability of climate change-related information via the Internet and the printed media, there is almost zero information on the Russian TV. There is just one RBC-TV channel (RBC developed “+1” project) with one program, Levchenko.Rakurs, which features climate change with a discussion of experts from time to time. All other mention of climate change on TV is occasional.
Print Media

At the moment there is no print media channel in Russia that is solely devoted to the climate change or sustainability issues. However, this issue often appears in several newspapers and magazines. These are the business newspapers Kommersant and Vedomosti that publish materials on carbon projects, GHG emissions assessment and regulation, energy efficiency and renewable energy, as all of this is related to business efficiency and obligations.

The magazine Egologia i Pravo (Ecology and Law) supported by NGO Bellona publishes articles on climate change and forest capacity, the Russian position on the Paris agreement and other relevant issues. The newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta (Independent Newspaper) regularly issues its thematic supplement NG-Energy with analytical articles by various authors.

There are several well-known experts who are active in climate change publications. They include, among others, Mikhail Yulkin (General Director of CCGS, LLC and Angelina Davydova, Head of Russian-German Bureau of Environmental Information and environmental journalist), Georgiy Safonov (Director of the Centre for Environmental Economics and Natural Resources of Higher School of Economics).
There are several print media that publish both positive and opposite opinions in respect to climate change. Such media as Regnum, Rossiyskaya Gazeta (Russian Newspaper) and Novyie Izvestiya sometimes include articles which neglect the facts on the climate change, or are about the relationship between GHG emissions and the changes occurring in the world climate.

Online Media

There are several interesting resources on the Internet that cover the environmental issues focusing on climate and renewable energy. The portal Kislorod.Life (“Oxygen.Life”) is an informative channel with easy and clear navigation using hashtags. There are a lot of articles about Russian climate change specialists as well as regular overviews of international news on the subject. Another special portal is the Klimat Rossii (“the Climate of Russia”) aimed at informing the community about Russian climate policy, carbon projects, and improvement of climate change public awareness.

At the end of 2016, a special Internet project +1, was created by the largest Russian media groups TASS, Kommersant and RBC. Each of the participants has developed a special section on their sites devoted to social investments and communications. This is an unprecedented joint move in the Russian mass media uniting efforts of significant players in promoting environmental and social responsibilities. The Project, +1, is supported by the Association of Members of Social Investment and Social Communications. The Project will help to create a special united space for communications within business circles, the state and authorities, institutional and education organizations, NGOs and the community.

The best journalists, reporters, business representatives, experts, and bloggers write their articles on environmental and social issues for this project, and many of these articles are related to climate change and energy efficiency. +1 Internet sites are already recognizable and well-known by the general public.
There are also special energy and high technology related portals that frequently publish articles and overviews on renewable energy and technologies related to sustainable development and climate change. They are RenEn, EnergyFresh and Hightech.

Environmental NGOs such as the Russian Social Ecological Union and Bellona regularly publish thematic articles and news on their sites and play their own important role in improving awareness by the general public about climate change issues.

Russia Subnational Best Practices


Yamalo-Nenetskyi Autonomous Okrug Region (YaNAO)—YaNAO is a region well known for its active and regular work for reduction of GHG emissions since 2008. The YaNAO Government developed and is implementing the Action Plan for GHG emission reduction by 2020, which is aimed as well at creation of effective tools for air pollution reduction and decrease of energy intensity of the regional economy. The GHG management system was developed at the regional level, including the monitoring and control of GHG sources and emissions. As a result, GHG emissions have gradually decreased since 2008. The recent achievement is the decrease of GHG emissions from 30.5 mln.t of CO2 in 2012 to 25.2 mln.t of C02 in 2014. There are many climate change initiatives that are being implemented in YaNAO such as:
•    Forecast and assessment of global climate changes in the Arctic zone;
•    Development of climate models and provision of monitoring programs;
•    Promotion of a gas-fuel transport;
•    Construction of gas-fired power plants with waste heat recovery;
•    Development of wind farms:
•    Promotion of rational use of associated gas (in 2014 9.2 bln.m3 of associated gas were produced and 92% of this amount was used effectively);
•    Support of the industrial pilot projects aimed at GHG emissions.


Moscow—Moscow’s GHG emissions are controlled in the framework of a Carbon Disclosure Project, and they are increasingly reduced year by year. The priorities are given to the transportation streams and parking management, modernization of infrastructure, development of environmental standards for trucks and vehicles and awareness raising.


The first association of regions was created for fighting climate change in the Baltic Sea area, consisting of Murmanskaya Oblast, Arkhangelskaya Oblast, Republics of Komi, Kareliya and Nenetskyi Autonomous Okrug. The have joint action plans for collaboration and development of climatic strategies in the region of the Barentsevo sea.

At the moment there is no information on another associations of cities, states or regions in respect to the climate change in Russia. It seems to be the next step which the most active cities or regions will have to undertake in order to improve their efficiency further.

Russia Leaders and Opponents

Government Official
Mr. Alexander Bedritskyi
Presidential Advisor, the Special Representative for Climate in Russia

The leading governmental official in Russia dealing with climate change issues is Mr. Alexander Bedritskyi, the Presidential Advisor and the Special Representative for Climate in Russia. While the Paris Agreement was signed by Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Khloponin, Mr. Alexander Bedritskyi strategically leads the preparation work for ratification of the Paris Climate Agreement in Russia, and overall implementation of Russia’s commitments on the Paris Agreement. He conducts regular meetings of the Intergovernmental Working Group on Climate Change Issues and Sustainable Development. Mr. Bedritskyi represented Russia at the 22nd Conference of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (1st meeting of the Paris Agreement’s parties in Marrakesh) and announced that Russia has initiated the improvement of national legislation in respect to the state regulation of GHG emissions, and implementation of actions aimed at the development of a long-term Strategy for Low Carbon Development (for the period until 2050).

Contact: Informational and Inquiry Service: +7(495) 606 36 02
Public Relations Service Officer on Duty +7(495) 910 07 66

The Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation plays the leading role in the coordination of implementation of the Paris Agreement commitments at the national level. However, at the moment there is a transfer period between former Minister Mr. Alexey Ulyukaev and the new Minister Mr. Maksim Oreshkin who was appointed on the 30th of November, 2016.

Contact: Address: 1,3 1st Tverskaya-Yamskaya street, 125993, Moscow
Informational and Inquiry Service: +7 495 650-86-39   E-mail:

Climate Program Advocate
Oleg Deripaska
Business Executive

There are several bright people leading the advocacy on climate change in Russia. Mr. Oleg Deripaska is one of them. He is the founder and principal owner of Basic Element, a leading Russian business group; the founder and the Chairman of the Executive Committee and the president of the global aluminum company UC RUSAL; president of En+ Group, and Russia’s largest privately held power company EuroSibEnergo.

Oleg Deripaska is one of the strong advocates for introduction of a global carbon tax (carbon levy), a universal mechanism for financing international climate programs that would reduce demand for high-carbon emission fuels and discourage businesses from emitting greenhouse gases.

Oleg Deripaska is also the Vice President of the Russian Chamber of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs where the climate change issues are discussed regularly at the meetings with the business representatives. He is among a few world business leaders who have concerns about the global threat of deforestation. He also stands for the creation of an international carbon fund to be refilled from emission taxes and used to support innovative renewable energy projects. The main idea is that all countries shall agree upon a minimum carbon tax and apply it to their carbon emitting producers, with each country administering the tax nationally.

Deripaska’s RUSAL is taking active measures to address climate change. Since 1990, RUSAL has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 54%. Among RUSAL’s latest steps to mitigate climate change effects was the creation of the ‘Climate partnership of Russia’, an initiative that consolidates efforts of Sberbank, RusNano, RusHydro and Ingosstrakh that will work in Russia and abroad to seek rational solutions to help companies prevent the damaging effects of global climate change.


Climate Program Opponent
Andrey Melnichenko
Business Execiutive

In general, the main opponents of the Paris Agreement in Russia are the business representatives who own and/or manage huge coal-fired power generation or extensive energy-consuming assets. One of them is Mr. Andrey Melnichenko, the founder and principal owner of three large Russian industrial holdings: EuroChem, Siberian Coal Energy Company, and Siberian Generation Company.

Andrey Melnichenko recognizes the climate change issue. He assumes, however, that the planet’s population has more significant problems such as a shortage or even lack of energy and water resources, and that these problems are more vital and pressing. He also does not believe in a great future for renewable energy generation due to natural limitations for generation capacity, but trusts in new technologies for coal-fired generation along with new production technologies in agriculture and other sectors. He argues against any limitations on carbon emissions for industries and business in general.

Contact Information via Siberian Generation Company:  E-mail:    Telephone: +7 (495) 258-83-00

Contact Information via NLMK PR service in various locations:

Russia Leading Research Study

Research Study: “ The 1st and 2nd Assessment Reports on Climate Change and its Consequences in the Russian Federation,” Russian Academy of Sciences (2008) (2014)

At the beginning of this century, the problem of climate change was not considered properly in Russia. In general, the progressive part of its population was aware of the climate change issues and international research conclusions; however, in most cases these issues were regarded as something happening far away and not nearby, being not crucial and even not that significant. Nowadays, the community and the politicians are changing their minds, starting to understand that consequences of climate changes occurring right “in our yard” and requiring immediate attention.

This growing awareness has not happened all at once and is the result of the long and serious work of environmental scientists and various organizations that undertook efforts to increase public awareness of climate change. There also have been many research and analytical studies related to climate changes issues, perhaps the most important being, “The Assessment Report on Climate Change and its Consequences in the Russian Federation.”

This 2008 Russian Academy of Sciences Report was based on the input of Russian scientists to the regular assessment reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In addition, it included much wider coverage of the national climate change trends and climate change forecasts for the regions of Russia.

The first Assessment Report of 2008 was accepted well and gave a boost to climate change related work at the governmental level. It was used as a basis for the Climate Doctrine of the Russian Federation approved by the President of the Russian Federation on December 17, 2009. This document provided the main direction for the development of legal, economic, and other tools for protection of the state, economy, and society against consequences of climate change. As a direct and immediate result, the Climate Doctrine Implementation Plan was prepared in 2011, following several federal, regional, and sector-specific action plans.

The second Assessment Report, with improved and enhanced content, was issued in 2014. It confirmed that climate change is a nation-wide problem. It revealed negative trends in the Russian climate. For example, since the mid-1970s average annual air temperature in the Russian Federation has increased. The 2nd Report documented the impact of climate change in other areas such as the hydrological cycle, precipitation amounts, ice coverage, and frequency and scale of extreme weather events. It revealed that the ice cover for seas, islands, and mountains is diminishing, while annual river run-offs are increasing.

The study described how changes in the climate of the Arctic region and subarctic zone of permafrost have become particularly significant as permafrost conditions exist on two thirds of Russia’s territory. Higher temperatures of the permafrost means increased risks to the reliability of the facilities and infrastructure on the affected areas. General warming of the climate can lead to the possible decrease in energy consumption for heating in winter. However, warmer summers as well as extreme weather events require extra energy for compensating the ambient temperature deviations via cooling and heating as required. The extreme events also include periods of droughts and floods with unpredictable occurrence and frequency but with a larger scale and area coverage.

Changes in climate conditions within the country also have an impact on public health as the extreme temperature events result in higher morbidity and mortality, especially within the health risk groups and in the degradation of air quality due to both adverse weather conditions and forest and peat fires. Due to the changes in climate zones, the areas where epidemic diseases will spread, will in most cases, increase.

Therefore, the ongoing climate change in Russia is a matter of a serious concern since its impact on natural and economic systems, as well as on the population, is becoming more and more evident. The Academy of Sciences Assessment Reports are published as official documents and their findings have been widely disseminated. As a result, there is continued increased awareness of the need for urgent and effective measures aimed at mitigation of the impact of climate change on economic activities.

The second Assessment report consists of three parts: the main report, the general summary and the technical summary. This report structure was developed in order to increase the report usefulness for different stakeholders: the government and authorities, scientific and educational institutions, professional analysts and practitioners, the business community and non-governmental organizations. The information from the Assessment Report of 2014 is going to be used for the preparation of the state long-term Strategy for Low Carbon Development and National Climate Adaptation Plan.

Learn More

1) The Assessment report of 2014 is available online in English and Russian:

2) One of the most comprehensive research works on estimation of the carbon absorption capacity of the Russian forests is titled, “The Russian Federation Forest Sector. Outlook Study To 2030,” by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, in Russian via link and in English at

3) Analytical publications on the climate change issues in Russia in the framework of the Climate Program of WWF both in Russian and English:

4) Analytical publications on the climate change and energy efficiency by Center for Energy Efficiency both in Russian and English:

Russia Emissions Reduction Strategy

Russia: Presidential Decree No. 889, Federal Law No. 261-FZ, State Program in Energy Efficiency and Energy Sector Development

The carbon footprint of Russia is influenced by the following characteristics:

  • Russia is one of the worldwide leaders in oil and gas production;
  • The country economy is based on energy-consuming industry with heavy and partially old technologies;
  • Fossil fuels are accessible and not expensive, and 68.1% of power is generated by combustion of fossil fuels
  • The overall level of energy consumption in Russia is relatively high due to the cold climate and lack of natural limitations. Fossil fuels prices are affordable for the population and industries. Most of the heat and electricity is supplied to the customers from the united grids and centralized heat distribution systems considered as being more practicable and reliable for the Russian conditions.

The national strategy in respect to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is yet to be developed. So far, there has been no structured policy on the GHG emissions reduction. The carbon trade instruments under the Kyoto protocol were implemented in part and did not have any significant outcome.

However, a nation-wide initiative for energy efficiency improvement which started almost 8 years ago has had meaningful positive impact on the GHG emissions issue. In 2008, the President’s Decree no.889, “On certain measures for increase of energy and environmental efficiency in the Russian economy,” established the goal to reduce the Russian GDP energy intensity by 40% of the value of 2007 by 2020 and prescribed the development of technical regulation tools, relevant legislation and appropriate budgeting.

In 2009, Federal Law no. 261-FZ, “On Energy Savings and Increase of Energy Efficiency,” was adopted. This Law established the legal, economic and administrative framework for promotion of energy savings and efficiency improvements. It also determined the deadlines for mandatory installation of measuring devices in order to control actual energy consumption and payments.

On December 27, 2010, the State Program, “Energy Savings and Increase of Energy Efficiency for The Period by 2020,” was approved by the Government of the Russian Federation. In 2014, this program became an essential part of a larger State Program, “Energy Efficiency and Energy Sector Development”, also adopted by the RF Government. The key goal of the programs by 2020 is the reduction of the Russian GDP energy intensity by 13.5% over the base rate in 2007. The implementation of the Program’s actions, together with the economy restructuring measures, seeks to provide an overall 40% reduction.

The program provides organizational guidelines for management system improvement, development of technical regulations, awareness raising, informational support, etc. The program has also established goals for energy use in different sectors including an oil refining efficiency rate, limits for electricity losses in grids and rated energy and fuel consumption for oil, gas and coal production.

Since the end of 2014, Ministry of Energy of the RF has prepared an annual report on energy efficiency in order to monitor the results and performance of the State Programs implementation. The first report was prepared in 2015 for the year of 2014, the next report of the year of 2015 is ready in Final Draft status.

In 2008, the goal of a 40% reduction in energy usage was based on the forecast that the national GDP will increase 2.3 times by 2020 (1.7 times by 2015) and investments will increase by 11% annually. It also was anticipated that there would be increases in the input of immovable property, communications, engineering, infrastructure and social sectors and that energy use in the transport, power and mining sectors will decrease over time.

Despite the lesser level of performance improvement in energy efficiency than planned, the Program has had a very positive impact in Russia in general, creating an all-Russian trend of energy efficiency oriented development. Each new development or reconstruction project includes the mandatory energy efficiency practices applicable for the wide range of the project issues from management to equipment selection. A special national BAT Reference Document on energy efficiency was developed and is followed by the companies in their practice. Large companies, based on their energy consumption level and energy efficiency performance, develop and implement programs. In their annual public reports and state statistical reports, they report on their improvement and include relevant information of their energy efficiency.

Though improvement in energy efficiency does not equate directly with the progress in reduction of GHG emissions, it has an overall positive impact on reduction of power demand in the country and therefore contributes to a decrease in power generation.

The RF energy policy and programs have the potential to improve energy efficiency throughout Russia. The existing programs need to be revised and soon will be updated to reflect the current economic situation.

Learn More

Publications on energy efficiency in Russia:

State reports on energy efficiency:

Russia Energy Production Trends

How The Energy System Is Structured

Since the early 1990s, the power sector in Russia has undergone significant changes to its structure, priorities, and generation capacities. In 1992, the power industry was reorganized into the 50% state-owned company RAO UES, the largest electric power holding company. Privatization and further restructuring of the power sector took place between 2006 and 2008. At present, there are several large and many small companies on the market with different types of ownership, including state-owned and private companies.

Almost all grids in Russia are connected to one Unified Energy System (UES) consisting of seven regional systems based on their geographical location. They are interconnected with high-voltage grids and synchronized with each other. There are around 700 power stations with an installed capacity of over 5 MW in Russia. By the beginning of 2016, the overall installed capacity of the Russian UES was equal to 235.30 GW.

The majority of the energy market is shared between the large holding companies described below in the section Profiles of Leading Energy Companies. Many large companies with thermal generation capacities have strategic goals for GHG emission reduction that are supposed to be reached by the following approaches:

  • Coal to gas conversion,
  • Use of co-generation (heat and electricity, allowing for about 90% efficiency of fuel use),
  • Increase of generation efficiency via equipment modernization and BAT application,
  • Cuts of losses in grids,
  • Introduction of renewable energy: small-scale hydro, solar, wind, geothermal, biomass energy generation, and
  • Increase in energy efficiency by producers (own needs) and consumers (through awareness).

Development of renewable energy is promoted by the state and by interested international companies. The use of renewable energy is also a necessity in the distant regions of Russia where the UES grids are not accessible.

In terms of international support, there are several renewable projects throughout Russia. For example, the construction of the largest wind energy park in the Far East was supported by the Japanese company NEDO, which donated the generation equipment for the park. As another example, on the 2nd of September, 2016, Mitsui, JBIC, and RusHydro signed a memorandum of understanding to support  energy generation capacity development in the Russian Far East, emphasizing the development of renewable energy, including geothermal sources.

Projects for renewable energy also are being supported supported by the state. Federal Law #35-FZ of 26.03.2003 and a number of other normative acts establish a special procedure for the sale and pricing for renewable energy. The RF Government Decree #1-p of 08.01.2009 established the gradual targets and indicators for renewable energy development by 2024. The final targets for 2024 are the following:


Sources of Energy

The structure of the different energy sources used for power generation in Russia (for 2013—the latest full data available) is presented in the table below.


In 2015, the total electricity generated within the UES of Russia was produced from the following sources:

  • Thermal power generation—160,233.28 MW (68.1%)
  • Hydropower generation—47,855.18 MW (20.34%)
  • Nuclear power generation—27,146 MW (11.53%)
  • Solar energy—60.2 MW (0.03%)
  • Wind energy—10.9 MW (0.005%)

Profiles of Leading Energy Companies

The largest energy producers are:

  • Rosenergoatom Concern JSC (state-run company; all nuclear power)
  • RusHydro PJSC (state-run company; hydro, small hydro, thermal, geothermal, solar, and wind power)
  • Gazprom Energoholding LLC (subsidiary of state-run company; thermal power)
  • Unipro PJSC (E.ON Russia JSC until June 2016, private; thermal power)
  • PJSC Enel Russia (private; thermal power)

The renewable projects in Russia are managed either by large energy companies or small-scale private companies. There are several examples of successful implementation in the framework of the state support mechanism. The first solar energy project constructed in the framework of the state support mechanism, with the installed capacity of 5MW, was commissioned in the Orenburg regions in May 2015. In October 2015, the first units of solar project with the overall capacity of 10MW were commissioned in the Republic of Bashkortostan. Seventy percent of its equipment was produced in Russia. One of the largest solar power stations in Russia, located in Orsk, has a current capacity of 25 MW with a potential increase of up to 40 MW. It is constructed on a brownfield site previously used as a coal power station landfill.

In September 2015, the wind power complex, consisting of 3 wind power units, was opened in the Russian Far East. Its current capacity is 900 kW and it is expected to produce 2 GWh annually. This complex will be expanded with seven more units by the total capacity of 3 MW.

During 2014 and 2015, planned growth slowed because the overall economic situation prevented faster development of renewable projects. Other reasons were the overall excess of generation capacities in the power sector, easy access to and relatively low price of fossil fuels, and a lack of reliable medium-term and long-term forecasts for energy demand and price. However, there are many opportunities for further development of renewable energy projects in Russia.

Submitted by Climate Scorecard Country Manager Dr. Elena Zaika

Russia Emission Reduction Challenges

Leading Emission Reduction Challenges: (a) Problems in implementing existing climate change policies; (b) Dependence on fossil fuels as energy sources; (c) Changing peoples’ perceptions


Current Greenhouse Gas Emission Levels

As a Party to the Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol, the Russian Federation developed and regularly updates its national inventory of greenhouse gas emissions. The national Status Inventory Reports and detailed statistical information on GHG emissions and removals in the special reporting format are annually submitted through the UNFCCC secretariat and published on the official UNFCCC site. The latest Status Inventory Report and the common report with all GHG emissions from all inventory sectors, implied emission factors and activity data will be submitted in 2016 (for the year of 2014).

It shall be noted that, compared to the baseline situation in 1990, total GHG emissions in 2013 were down by 28.6% (or by 42.8% including the removals from land use, land use change and forestry). Figure 1 below demonstrates the overall trend of changes in GHG emissions year by year. The first long period of a general downward trend of emissions happened during the 1990–98 period in all the sectors and was linked with the negative dynamics of the general economic situation in the country. During the following years of economic growth, GHG emissions increased gradually at a modest pace through 2008. An economic crisis in 2008-2009 led to a small decrease in emissions in 2009 followed by a minor upcoming trend in 2011-2012 resulting from recovering industrial activity. It dropped slightly again in 2013 (by 1.3% in comparison with the previous year, excluding removals) and the current understanding is that 2014-2015 did not bring any meaningful increase in emissions.

Russia Q2

Picture 1. Total GHG emissions (mln. t CO2e) in the Russian Federation excluding (1) and including (2) the emissions and removals from land use, land use change and forestry.


Emission Reduction Challenges

The main drivers for the GHG emissions in the RF are the overall economic trends (increase or decrease of gross domestic product, GDP), changes in GDP structure, changes in fuel balance and at some point annual temperature variations from year to year and the respective changes in energy consumption.

There are several issues that prevent an easy way forward with decreasing the GHG emissions in Russia. These include:

  1. Fossil fuels are accessible and relatively low priced in the RF;
  2. The country economy is based on energy-consuming industries with heavy and partially old technologies;
  3. There are no state restrictions or limitations for GHG emissions though the first steps in creating the state regulation tool as well as developing instruments for accounting and reporting have been undertaken;
  4. Insufficient information in the society on climate change issues and the extent climate change is influencing the climate in Russia;
  5. The current slowdown in the national economy spurs energy intensive business sectors to oppose climate-related regulatory measures that they consider may prevent them recovering growth, and leaves less opportunities for investment needed for upgrading technologies.

The main issues in this list are the first two points but they can’t be resolved without progress on points 3 and 4. Therefore, at the moment the key actions from the government are aimed at the development of a national strategy on climate change, improvement of state regulations on GHG accounting and reporting, identifying the approaches for reducing and putting appropriate limitations on GHG emission amounts for the industry. In addition, there is a growing recognition among various stakeholders that climate change is and will affect Russia more strongly than it was believed before. There are a number of NGOs and consulting and research organizations who are helping the community to understand climate change issues and trends in Russia. They disseminate relevant information and are involved in discussions at the national level.

During the last decades, Russia’s development history demonstrates the effectiveness of good pilot projects and successful case studies. Therefore, national experts believe that the results of the current first small wave of renewable energy projects in Russia will lead  towards the wider use of renewables such as biomass, wind and solar energy, etc.

–Submitted by Climate Scorecard Country Manager Elena Zaika


Useful Resources