Russia considering more ambitious climate targets

by Reuters
Wednesday, 6 October 2021 11:19 GMT

A car drives past the Gazprom Neft's oil refinery in Omsk, Russia February 10, 2020. REUTERS/Alexey Malgavko

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Russia's new draft plan - yet to be approved - sees it cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 79% by 2050 from 2019 in its main 'target' scenario, but falls short of carbon neutrality

* Plan would cut 2019 emissions by 79% by 2050 EU, others urge Moscow to hit net zero by 2050

* Would mean net zero by 2060 or earlier - Kommersant 

MOSCOW, Oct 6 (Reuters) - Russia is considering more ambitious climate targets that would significantly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 but fall short of carbon neutrality, a draft government document seen by Reuters showed on Wednesday.

One of the world's biggest producers of oil and gas, Russia is under pressure to step up its pledges ahead of the UN's COP26 climate summit in Glasgow which starts at the end of the month.

The European Union, Britain and Italy last week urged Russia to commit to reach net zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050.

Russia's new draft plan - which has not been approved by the cabinet - sees it cutting 2019 greenhouse gas emissions by 79% by 2050 in its main "target" scenario.

The target would factor in the growing carbon absorption power of Russia's forest, the document said.

The Kommersant newspaper reported that a draft of the document envisioned Russia reaching carbon neutrality in 2060 or earlier. There was no mention of that in the draft seen by Reuters.

The plan was discussed at a government meeting chaired by President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, a source told Reuters.

The plan is certain to be modified further and the transition to carbon neutrality was still being debated, said the source, who requested anonymity.

Putin, who has not yet said if he will attend the Glasgow conference, says that climate change is a threat, but that measures to combat it must not be politicised and that the transition to greener energy should be a smooth one.

On Tuesday, he blamed the green energy transition and low investment in the extraction industries for what he described as "hysteria and some confusion" on European markets where energy prices have skyrocketed.

(Reporting by Darya Korsunskaya and Vladimir Soldatkin; writing by Tom Balmforth; editing by Jason Neely)

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