For the first time, climate projects are beginning to take shape in Russia, as the country’s Ministry of Economy develops the first rules for implementing climate projects. These include the necessary criteria for them to qualify as such, along with the procedures and reporting form.
The said documents have been deemed compliant with international standards. However, the results of these voluntary projects will not be able to offset emissions as per the framework of the forthcoming cross-border carbon regulation of the European Union.
Earlier this year, Russia passed a bill that regulates greenhouse gas emissions. And according to this bill, companies may voluntarily launch carbon capture projects, as well as projects aimed at reducing existing CO2 emissions in the atmosphere.
Hence, the new set of documentation specifies the criteria these projects must meet to be considered ‘climate projects’.
One of these criteria is for the projects to be aimed at reaching targets outlined by the Paris Agreement and are in alignment with the principles of sustainable growth and development.
Certified professionals will be given the task to verify whether such projects can indeed be counted as climate projects, and upon successful verification, companies will be able to submit their climate reports directly to the Ministry of Economy. These processes are expected to be confirmed by mid-November, said the Minister of Economic Development, Maksim Reshetnikov, and next year they should already come into force.
Although the results of the climate projects as per the upcoming regulations will not officially count towards minimizing the carbon footprint in the sense of cross-border regulation proposed by the EU, they will still pave the way for new investments and create a necessary basis for introducing low-carbon technologies in the future.
Some officials remain skeptical of the initiative expressing their doubts that there will be any demand for climate projects and carbon units in Russia.