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Climate Russia: Opening the doors to green business in Russia

TASS Russian News Agency, Moscow

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At the launch of the Climate Russia International Newsroom at the TASS Russian News Agency

IMAGE: Climate Russia

The past six years have seen Russia move up from 120th to 40th place in the World Bank Group’s report on Doing Business. The success has prompted Russian President Vladimir Putin to set a challenge: one which would aim to put Russia into the top 20 of the index by the year 2018.

In accordance with the new target, the Russian market has been gradually liberalising. Today Russia is providing great opportunities for investors from all over the world. Among other things, the market is linked to a rising new green sector, a huge potential for ecosystem services (forestry, water, ground, biodiversity etc. sectors) and a focus on the economy’s sustainable modernisation. Along with the rest of the world, Russia is preparing to step into a new, low-carbon era, starting on the 4th November 2016. For this is the day the Paris Agreement has come into force. Russia is expected to ratify the Paris Agreement not earlier than 2019-2020, according to the Russian Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Sergei Donskoy. The main reason for this delay is to enable officials to carry out further risk assessments and stress tests on the socio-economic effects of the ratification. In the meanwhile, the Russian government is busy developing a methodology for measuring industry’s greenhouse gases and the capability of Russian forests to act as a carbon sink. As per the contributions made as part of the Paris Agreement, a national plan on reducing GHG emissions to 70% of the 1990 level by 2030 will be ready by March of 2020.

 

From the tribune of the United Nations, Vladimir Putin has on multiple occasions declared Russia’s climate leadership and intent to implement carbon reduction activities as per the Kyoto Protocol. There can be little doubt that the Paris Agreement is not only a big challenge for a country such as Russia; whose economy is predominantly based on traditional carbon-intensive natural resources, but is also a once in a lifetime opportunity to propel Russian technological advancements at a rapid pace into a clean future.

 

“We treat ecological and climate problems responsibly, by paying a great deal of attention to increasing the percentage of renewable, especially hydro and nuclear, power sources in order to keep a national energy balance, improve government regulation of greenhouse gases emissions, and provide for a rapid and economically efficient reduction of GHG emissions in compliance with the Paris Agreement. Russia will continue to cooperate constructively with all stakeholders, especially in the energy industry, on the principles of mutually profitable cooperation and equal partnership,” said Mr Putin in October at the World Energy Congress in Istanbul.

 

The President’s position on the necessity of Paris Agreement ratification as stated in his speech at the September UN Climate Summit in New York has prompted the launch of Russia’s very first business-climate website.

 

Climate Russia is a national portal on which covers various fields from Russian climate change policy and business opportunities to environmental education and cleantech. Priority areas include projects and initiatives for business, society, and government relating to the sustainable development of the country and of the Earth. One of the main goals of the portal is to assist in strengthening global cooperation in the field of climate and natural heritage conservation. For this purpose, the portal includes an English version of the website climaterussia.org

 

On this website, Russian law changes and amendments, along with current trends in the innovative development of the country are all covered. But the primary goal of the website is to provide an open and transparent overview of the Russian market for foreign businesses and investors, to find new sustainable growing points and to discover markets for free technology transfer. Because fundamentally, Climate Russia believes that with the right tools and framework, we all have the ability to come together and make the world a much better and environmentally friendly place.

 

On the 31st of October, Climate Russia will celebrate one year of operation and sustainable outreach. Starting out with Unilever as a highly influential strategic partner, the project has garnered much attention and has even received favourable recognition by the Special Envoy of the President of Russia for Climate Affairs, Alexander Bedritsky.

 

“Data from social polls are signalising a general lack of awareness from the public on the Government’s steps in fighting global warming. That is why the launching of the Climate Russia initiative has arrived in due time,” said Mr Bedritsky in an interview with the portal.

 

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Founder and CEO of the Russian Carbon Fund, Alexey Shadrin, talks sustainability, business and cleantech

IMAGE: Climate Russia

After a presentation at the Paris Climate Summit COP 21, the portal has received recognition by the mass media as a key player in the Russian sustainability sector. In 2016, several agreements were reached between several leading national experts from the field of economy, ecology, and the social sphere, which saw Climate Russia becoming a partner of major platforms and participants of sustainability industry. Among them: UNEP, UNDP, MGIMO, the Russian Silicon Valley Skolkovo, the Association of European Business, the international green technologies forum Ecotech, along with the eco-friendly magazines Sustainable Business (Ukraine) and Sustain Europe. Climate Russia also gained acceptance of representatives of federal and regional authorities including the Russian State Duma, the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment of the Russian Federation, the Moscow Department of Environmental Management and Protection, and the administrations of the Moscow Region and the Republic of Tatarstan.

 

In May last year, the V.I. Vernadsky Nongovernmental Ecological Foundation presented Climate Russia with 2015’s Best Portal award in the field of ecology in the Russian Federation. In summer of that year, Climate Russia designed and published for UC RUSAL an edition of their corporate magazine, focusing on climate change and the green economy. Climate Russia also helped Unilever to organise a sustainability forum at Skolkovo, along with a conference to address key ecological issues in the Moscow Region in conjunction with the City’s Department of environmental management. Currently, the authors and designers of the portal are working with a Gazprom-owned Moscow oil refinery on the production of the very first school textbook and study guide on sustainable development, featuring cutting edge augmented reality technology.

 

Numbers and plans

 

As of today, the audience of Climate Russia, which is mainly consisting of business leaders, Government representatives and experts, is reaching 13.5 thousand unique users per month. Web analytics have demonstrated that the portal is reaching a worldwide audience, with the highest number of visitors coming from European, CIS and BRICS countries. The main goals for 2017 are to increase traffic to 50 thousand users, broaden collaborations, expand the international partnership network, and finally, to help businesess, NGOs and green startups realise their ecological initiatives and startup ideas.

 

Climate Russia will organise conferences, exhibitions, and seminars on sustainable development; with the ultimate aim of finding new solutions towards existing ecological and social problems. A wide range of topics will be covered during the course of these events, including energy saving measures, waste recycling and utilisation, the transition to renewable energy sources and clean technologies, and the sustainable development of regions and cities.

 

Development perspectives

 

2017 has been declared the Year of the Environment in the Russian Federation. Leading trends are the implementation of best available technologies and pilot initiatives for reduction of greenhouse gases, the involvement of citizens and business in nature conservation activities. Starting in the New Year, a new prohibition on waste burial will come into effect. This is set to give a welcome boost to the development of recycling and eco-friendly packaging in the Russian Federation. By September 2017, a new strategy of Russia’s low-carbon development should be ready, which will provide the basis for the ratification of the Paris Agreement. As a result, there will be a high rise in corporate investments into the modernisation and retrofitting of existing plants and the realisation of projects which lower the carbon footprint of products and services. Which is why, whilst even taking into account the somewhat problematic current foreign state of affairs, the country’s top leadership is still interested in attracting foreign investment, especially within the energy sector. With the help of these kinds of new, clean investments, the Russian economy will be able to get onto the fast track of sustainable growth, which Vladimir Putin has himself spoken of on several occasions.

 

Climate Russia would like to invite foreign partners to take advantage of the opportunities which will be presented by the Year of the Environment to broaden their partnerships in Russia. During this important year, there will be a number of federal and regional events held dedicated to the investment and development of new sectors of the green economy. The main events will be organized with the help of Climate Russia, who will be on hand to provide information on the current state of the Russian economy, business sectors, technology start-ups, and investment opportunities throughout the country. The portal Climate Russia opens the doors to your green business in Russia!

 

 

To find out more please visit the online portal

 

climaterussia.org

 

 

 

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