Climate change mitigation in Russia: foreign policy, envinronmental action or simple economics?

In Geert Van Calster, Wim Vandenberghe and Leonie Reins (eds), Research Handbook on Climate Change Mitigation Law. Cheltenham, Edward Elgar, 2015, pp. 617-633.

Russia is a key actor in terms of GHG emissions, energy exports as well as global climate politics. WTO membership and opportunities provided by the Kyoto mechanisms supported Russia’s ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, but were not sufficient to incentivize participation in the second commitment period. Given this, and the marginality of precautionary principle in Russian climate policy, domestic mitigation actions are driven by economic and energy security interests unrelated to climate mitigation. The main policy-measures, energy efficiency, associated petroleum gas flaring and renewable energy, have suffered from the low administrative capacity available for policy-implementation. Joint Implementation was also slow to start and plagued by political and economic struggles between domestic actors. Nevertheless, the implementation of the current domestic target to limit GHG emissions to 75 per cent of 1990 level by 2020, which is under discussion, envisages market-based policy initiatives.