Is the new ‘climate doctrine’ marking a turning point in Russian policy?
|Friday, 24. April 2009 0 comment(s)||
Researcher - The EU's Eastern Neighbourhood and Russia research programme
Based on the Cabinet
discussion, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin called for a concrete domestic climate
action plan focusing on the improvements of resource and energy efficiencies. He
also emphasized the importance of international cooperation to solve the
problem, stating that Russia
will take a responsible approach to its domestic policies and measures.
The fact that the Minister of Natural Resources publicly states mitigation policies to have a positive rather than a negative impact on the Russian economy may mark a turning point in the Russian climate policy. Previously, emission reduction commitments have often been considered as a potential hazard to strong economic growth which is the main political priority of the Russian administration. However, it remains to be seen whether the more traditional counter arguments on emission reduction commitments limiting economic growth will be restated in the near future.
It is also a significant development that the high costs of climate change to the economy are first time widely used in Russian headlines rather than focusing on the benefits expected.
But in the past many good initiatives have got caught in the heavy Russian bureaucracy and been deterred by the lack of attention at the highest political level. In this rare case, with the issue having gained the attention of Prime Minister Putin, it would support the Russian debate if other G8 countries, especially the US, as well as the international media, recognized these positive signs from Russia.
Texts reflect the opinions of the individual authors