Russia's draft climate plan will not deliver real-world climate action

Summary

Russia released its draft 2050 Strategy and a possible NDC target in March 2020. If Russia were to adopt the 2030 target in this Strategy as its updated NDC, the CAT rating would improve from ‘Critically Insufficient’ to ‘Highly Insufficient’. However, this change does not represent real-world action as Russia’s real economy emissions in 2030 are projected to be below the proposed NDC target level.

Scroll down for a detailed analysis of Russia’s NDC update or click the button to view the latest CAT assessment for Russia.

CAT analysis of NDC update

On March 23, the Russian Ministry of Economic Development released a draft of its 2050 Long-term Development Strategy for public consultation. These documents are only available in Russian. The CAT analysis is based on a translated version of this material.

The Strategy contains two scenarios which would see Russia cut its emissions by 33-36% below 1990 levels in 2030 incl. LULUCF (27-30% excl. LULUCF) and 36-48% below 1990 levels by 2050 incl. LULUCF (33-40% excl. LULUCF). The strategy aims to achieve carbon neutrality in the second half of the 21st century. The Strategy appears to suggest that the 33% target for 2030 could be Russia’s updated NDC target.

The Paris Agreement entered into force for Russia on 6 November 2019. As Russia did not communicate a new NDC at that time, its intended NDC became its NDC. Under its current NDC, Russia will cut emissions by 25-30% below 1990 levels by 2030 incl. LULUCF (17-22% excl. LULUCF).

Updating its NDC to either 33% or 36% below 1990 levels by 2030 would change its CAT rating from ‘Critically Insufficient’ to ‘Highly Insufficient’ and result in emissions in 2030 of 2332 MtCO2e – 2239 MtCO2e (excl. LULUCF).

According to the CAT latest assessment, Russia’s real-world emissions are projected to be 2142-2205 MtCO2e in 2030 (excl. LULUCF) (33-31% below 1990 levels excl. LULUCF). In other words, the proposed updated NDC would not result in real cuts to emissions.

Since the CAT assessment was completed in December 2019, the Russian government has released its Fourth Biennial Report. The real-world projection based on current climate policy in Russia would see emissions of 2288 MtCO2e in 2030 (excl. LULUCF) (28% below 1990 levels excl. LULUCF). If the government adopted more climate action, emissions could fall further to 2102 MtCO2e (excl. LULUCF) (34% below 1990 levels excl. LULUCF). In other words, the Draft 2050 Strategy, with its proposed limit of 2332 – 2239 MtCO2e in 2030 (excl. LULUCF) (27-30% below 1990 levels excl. LULUCF), does not appear to have scenarios as ambitious as the current policy projections (with measures and with additional measures scenarios) released in the Biennial Update Report released by the Russian government three months ago.

Comments on the 2050 Strategy may be submitted until 10 April 2020.

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