Week 5 Russia
The Kremlin, Moscow, Russia - photo credit Free Images - Pixabay.
Welcome to the fifth edition of my weekly blog where I take a closer look at the policies adopted by individual countries in their efforts to meet the requirements of the Paris Agreement. Particular attention is paid to the role that Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) research and technologies are playing in the drive to meet these requirements.
Russia signed the Paris Agreement on the 22nd of April 2016, however since then, and as at 27th March 2017, Russia has neither ratified the agreement or brought it into force.
According to the European Commission’s research database EDGAR (Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research), Russia was the fourth highest emitting nation of Co2 into the atmosphere in 2014.
UN Climate Change Secretariat’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions statistics for Russia in 2012 indicates that the largest emitters by sector are energy (82%), industrial processes (8%) and agriculture (7%). When we drill down further on the energy sector segment of the statistics, we note that energy industries account for almost half of the energy sector emissions. This should not come as a big surprise to us considering the fact that Gazprom and Rosneft ranked first and second in Forbes 2016 list of the world’s biggest public energy companies with production levels of 8.4m and 5.1m barrels of oil equivalent per day (BOEPD) respectively. A third Russian oil company called Lukoil also features in the top 10 list of the biggest public energy companies in the world in 2016.
In November 2016, The Global CCS Insitute published its Carbon Capture and Storage Readiness Index. In the report, Russia was ranked as “Low” in their readiness report. The authors of the report assigned this ranking to Russia owing to the fact that they could not find any English speaking CCS policy documents following an extensive research exercise. However, from a capability and capacity point of view, Russia scored high due to the fact that it has a mature oil and gas industry with a multitude of suitable sites for carbon storage.
The climate action tracker, a consortium of three research bodies rank Russia’s policies and pledges towards emission reductions as inadequate. Russia has pledged to reduce its emissions to 70% of 1990 levels by 2030. Critics think that this is too modest a target as its industrial base now is much smaller when compared with that of 1990 Soviet levels of emissions. They went on to note that Gazprom is the largest corporate emitter of CO2 in the world and that Russia needed to embrace renewable energy and technological advances in order to drive a meaningful reduction in CO2 emissions.
Russia’s lack of published policy documents on CCS, or at least in English text, and its failure to ratify the Paris agreement to date does not paint a positive picture towards a significant CO2 emissions reduction in the immediate future. However, what is clear is, that Russia, being a mature oil and gas market, has the knowledge and experience to relatively quick implement a CCS strategy should a change in policy occur.