At the start of the month, we reported on the fact that after four years of deliberation, the Russian government appeared to finally give support to the Paris Agreement. Not a complete ratification but on the way to it, by all accounts from Russian sources. For many, it felt like a strange turn of events in the face of President Vladimir Putin’s strong denials of global warming, while also proving a step in the right direction toward global consensus on climate change action.
However, it would not be without controversy that the Russian government would attempt to legislate for change. Classed as the fourth largest emitter of greenhouse gases (GHG) (1.6 billion metric tons of CO2 in 2017), Russia is the world’s second largest exporter of oil. It continues to invest largely in the development of its coal, oil, and gas industries. So it is not surprising that no less than a month after ratifying the Paris Agreement, its draft bill to regulate emissions has been stalled.
According to a report from Climate Change News last week, changes have included removing “legally binding targets and sanctions… Also scrapped was a section detailing a fund to support carbon-cutting projects, along with sections allowing the government to strengthen the bill over time.”
The Chair of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP), Alexander Shokhin, spoke earlier in the month at an environmental forum objecting “to climate regulations, such as cap and trade, carbon taxes or a fund for carbon-cutting projects, stressing that Russia had already “fulfilled [its] obligations
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