Russia formally submits NDC update to UNFCCC
Russia formally submitted a new 2030 emissions target to the UNFCCC in November 2020. The update did not strengthen the country’s 2030 target in any real sense, as it is higher than Russia’s own 2030 emissions projections under current policies. The CAT rates the new NDC target as ‘Highly Insufficient’.
Scroll down for a detailed analysis of Russia’s new target or click the button to view the latest CAT assessment for Russia.
On 25 November 2020, Russia formally submitted its updated NDC target to the UNFCCC. The new target matches the one stipulated by the Presidential Decree signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier in November; a reduction of at least 30% below 1990 levels, taking into account the maximum possible absorptive capacity of forests.
We interpret the reference to the maximum absorptive capacity of forests to mean that Russia intends to include land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) sinks in both its base and target years. The NDC does not refer to any LULUCF projections for 2030; we assume projections for the sector as presented in Russia’s draft long-term strategy.
Russia’s new NDC falls just inside of the ‘Highly Insufficient’ range. A reduction of at least 30% below 1990 levels (incl. LULUCF) corresponds to an emissions limit of up to 2.4 GtCO2e in 2030 (excluding LULUCF). Russia’s 2019 NDC had a range of 25-30% (incl. LULUCF). The CAT rating of Russia’s 2019 NDC is based on the upper end of that target range, which is ‘Critically Insufficient’.
The reference to ‘at least’ 30% does signify a new floor for Russia’s emissions in 2030 compared to the previous target. However, the NDC update does not represent any increase in real-world climate action and will have no impact on reducing the country’s emissions.
Under its current policies, and after the effects of the COVID-19-related economic slowdown are considered, Russia’s emissions are projected to be -32 to -37% below 1990 levels (excl. LULUCF). If LULUCF sinks are considered, Russia’s emissions are projected to -38 to -43% below 1990 levels, i.e. 8-13% lower than the new target. As noted above, we assume that the LULUCF sink in 2030 will be the one outlined in the draft strategy.
The new NDC is also weaker than the one proposed in its draft 2050 strategy. The strategy presented 2030 emissions targets for 33% to 36% below 1990 levels (incl. LULUCF) and proposed adopting the less ambitious 33% reduction target.
The Presidential Decree, upon which the updated NDC is based, also instructed the government to adopt the country’s 2050 strategy. According to the Ministry of Economic Development, the strategy along with draft federal legislation will be ready by the end of the year.