Russia's 2020 GHG emissions target: Emission trends and implementation

Climate Policy, published online 25.08.2015. DOI: 10.1080/14693062.2015.1075373

This article provides an overview of the recent modelling results on Russia's GHG emission trends, and reviews the success of mitigation policies in order to establish whether Russia's domestic target seems feasible. Various Russian GHG emission scenarios indicate that Russia's domestic target - emissions 25% below the 1990 level by 2020 - is not far from the business-as-usual emissions trajectory. In particular, two factors could deliver the required emissions reductions: the currently declining gross domestic product (GDP) growth and ongoing domestic mitigation policies. The former is more likely to secure the target level of emissions, because GDP growth has been contracting significantly in comparison to earlier forecasts of 3–5% annual growth, and this trend is expected to continue. The latter option – success with domestic mitigation measures – seems less likely, given the various meta-barriers to policy implementation, and the marginality of mitigation policies, problems with law-making processes, bureaucratic tradition, and informality of legislative and implementation systems.