Maksim Reshetnikov: Regions Will Be Able to Start Introducing Carbon Regulation this Year Already

Regions, announcing the achievement of carbon neutrality by a certain year will be able to set quotas for greenhouse gas emissions of specific enterprises and to introduce a system of trading quotas. By the end of 2021 a draft law on the Sakhalin experiment is to be submitted to the State Duma for consideration as a matter of priority. Minister of Economic Development of Russia Maksim Reshetnikov stated about it at the Ecumene 2021 International Congress on Sustainable Finance.

In response to a question about the Russian government's ongoing work on the climate agenda, Maksim Reshetnikov noted that the law on greenhouse gas emissions will be amended by the end of the year and verification of Russian companies' reports by special organizations will begin. According to the Minister, verification will be a serious competitive advantage. ‘A full line of standards has been created, which allows us to implement climate projects. The last standard will be approved in November. Then we will have the opportunity not only to verify projects by these standards, but also to accredit the entire verification system by these standards. So that everyone understands the methods that are used. In the first half of the year, the first climate projects will be verified and launched, we will launch the circulation of carbon units’ said the Minister.

The head of the Ministry noted that after the first climate projects for verification are launched, the Ministry of Economic Development will begin the process of joining the Russian system of verification to the international system. This will ensure that national standards comply with international ones.

Mr. Reshetnikov also drew attention to the cost of the forced implementation of the climate agenda. ‘Renewable energy, nuclear will eventually require investments, which will have to be recouped. And any payback is an increase in fees for customers. It is important with implementation of all these issues to measure it against the level of inflation, macroeconomic conditions’ he said.

The Minister urged the countries actively implementing the climate agenda to calculate and tell consumers how much the introduction of low-carbon technologies will cost. ‘The level of prices that we now see in Europe for gas is a direct consequence of the forced withdrawal of coal-fired generation. Gas prices have no alternative. I don't think all consumers are willing to pay that price for a forced climate agenda.’ He reminded that the climate is only one of 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals and called not to forget poverty reduction, affordable and clean energy and others, which are also Sustainable Development Goals.

Continuing the international theme, the Minister noted the lack of understanding between countries on mechanisms to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. ‘We need to agree on the recognition of carbon units, to agree on common parameters for climate projects. We need to overcome the differences that exist, so that we mutually trust the carbon units that will be issued in different countries. We need to agree that we will not discriminate against technology - to proclaim the principle of technological neutrality. Understanding that both the atom is low-carbon and hydropower.’

In addition, Maksim Reshetnikov emphasized that it is important to fight the imposition of supranational mechanisms for charging additional fees through carbon regulation. Such attempts, according to Mr. Reshetnikov, violate the rules of trade and the WTO. ‘We should not spend money on the climate in countries where goods are consumed, where wealth is concentrated, but in those countries where it will be most effective to reduce emissions or increase absorption. The Paris Agreement needs effective implementation mechanisms’ he summarized.

Details are available on the website of the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation.