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Climate Doctrine of the Russian

Climate change is one of the major international problems in the21st century, which goes beyond the scope of a scientific problem and represents a complex interdisciplinary problem that covers environmental, economic, and social aspects of the sustainable development of the Russian Federation.

The unprecedented rate of global warming witnessed in the past few decades raises particular concern. Modern science provides more and more solid arguments in support of the fact that human economic activity, related, first of all, to greenhouse gas emissions as a result of fossil fuel combustion has aconsiderable impact on the climate.

Climate change is a multiform process that is manifested, in particular, invarying frequency and intensity of climate abnormalities and extreme weather phenomena. There exists a high probability of acceleration of theobserved climate change process in the 21st century.

The expected climate change is bound to influence the lives of people, the flora and fauna in all the regions of the planet, and in some of them itwill become an apparent threat to the well-being of the population and sustainable development.

The above-mentioned factors predetermine the necessity to take climate change into consideration as one of the major long-term elements of the security of the Russian Federation and to put the problem of global climate change, both in its national and international dimensions, among the Russian Federation’s policy priorities.

The effects of climate change become noticeable at the global, regional, sub-regional, and national levels.

Global climate change in the Russian Federation (taking into account its territory, geographical situation, exceptional variety of climatic conditions, economic structure, population problems, and geopolitical interests) creates asituation that suggests a need for the early development of a comprehensive and balanced public approach to climate problems and related issues based on thecomplex scientific analysis of environmental, economic, and social factors.

I. General provisions

1. This Doctrine represents an overview of the goal, principles, substance, and ways of implementation of a unified public policy of the Russian Federation, both within its borders and in the international arena, on the issues related to climate change and its consequences (hereafter referred to as climate policy).

Taking into consideration the strategic guidelines of the Russian Federation, this Doctrine serves as a foundation for the development and implementation of climate policy.

2. The legal basis of this Doctrine includes the Constitution of the Russian Federation, federal laws, standard legal acts issued by the President of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Russian Federation, theUnited Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change of May 9, 1992, and other international treaties the Russian Federation is signatory to, including those on environmental issues and sustainable development.

3. This Doctrine is based on fundamental and applied scientific knowledge in the field of climate and in related areas, including:

the assessment of the past and current state of the climate system;

the assessment of the impact of human activities on climate;

the forecast of climate change and its impact on the quality of life of the population in the Russian Federation and in other regions of the world;

the assessment of the security and vulnerability of ecological systems, economy, population, government institutions and infrastructure against climate change, and existing means to adapt to it;

the assessment of means to mitigate the man-made impact on climate.

4. This Doctrine is based on the analysis of results of the studies carried out in the Russian Federation and in other regions of the world concerning climate change and the impact on various economic sectors, population and environment taking into consideration the results ofresearch related to the practical use of climate information by public authorities. The scientific justification of this Doctrine includes the recognition of the fact that the anthropogenous factor may have an effect on the climate system triggering an important reaction which is adverse and dangerous, first ofall, for human beings and environment. The specific feature of the climate reaction to the anthropogenous impact as well as to the anthropogenous impact mitigation measures consists in its delayed response to this impact. Intheframework of the climate policy this specific feature predetermines theimportant role of timely adaptation to climate change in the coming decades.

5. This Doctrine as a political document recognizes that the problems concerning climate change, in particular the balance between economic efficiency and social justice, the elimination of potential conflicts of interests related to the extreme climate change consequences (heat waves, floods, draughts and other phenomena) cannot be resolved with scientific methods only. The search for balance in such situations is a matter ofpolitical choice.

II. Goal and principles of climate policy

6. The strategic goal of climate policy is to achieve secure and sustainable development of the Russian Federation, including institutional, economic, environmental and social as well as demographic aspects ofdevelopment in the context of changing climate and emerging challenges.

7. The main climate policy principles are as follows:

the global scope of the interests of the Russian Federation concerning climate change and its effects;

the priority of national interests in the development and implementation of climate policy;

the clarity and informational transparency of climate policy;

the recognition of the need for domestic as well as international equal partnership actions of the Russian Federation in the framework of international research programmes and projects concerning climate change;

the comprehensive consideration of potential losses and advantages related to climate change;

the prudential planning and implementation of measures intended to protect human beings, economy and State from the adverse effects of climate change.

8. The interests of the Russian Federation concerning climate change are not limited to its territory and have a global nature. This situation can be explained by theglobal nature of climate change as well as by the need to take into consideration in the area of international relations the diverse impacts on theclimate and the consequences of climate change in various parts of the world. While developing the climate policy it is necessary to take into consideration direct as well as indirect and long-term impact of climate change on environment, economy, population and its different social groups. Theindirect impact of climate change includes its influence on migration processes resulting from the global redistribution of natural resources, including food and water, and decrease of relative quality of living conditions in some regions of the Russian Federation and abroad.

9. The anticipated climate change threatens the security of the Russian Federation. Therefore, it is important to maintain independence of assessments and conclusions drawn on the basis of full, objective and reliable information on the current and potential climate change, its consequences for the Russian Federation and other States and on relevant measures to adapt to these changes and mitigate their negative effects. 

10. Therefore, the climate policy must envisage state support and compliance with the world level of:

systematic climate observations;

fundamental and applied climate studies and studies in related fields of science;

application of research results to assess risks and benefits related toeffects of climate change and possibilities of adaptation to these effects.

11. The Russian Federation believes that in order to make relevant decisions with due account of the legislation of the Russian Federation it is essential toopenly discuss the principles of climate policymaking, the content and implementation mechanisms of the climate policy, which are subject to broad public discussions including those with participation of the civil society institutions and business community. Political decisions on climate and regulations based on them should focus on the long-term interests of theRussian Federation because of the trends of climate change and the need totake permanent measures to adapt to man-made impact on climate and to mitigate it

12. The climate policy should be clear and transparent from the informational point of view at all levels and for all subjects of public relations, including:

federal executive authorities to elaborate public policy and legal regulations taking into account climate factors and the possibility to adapt to them in many areas of public administration related first of all to the development of state infrastructure;

public authorities of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation and local self-government bodies to take into account climate factors and the possibility to adapt to them in mid-term and long-term planning of the social and economic development of territories;

national and international business communities, whose investment activity depends on the possibility to accurately assess investment risks related to climate change and the possibility to manage these risks;

population, because on the one hand, the climate change impacts social factors (change of conditions of comfortable living and people’s priorities in choosing a place of residence; changes in the labor market and other factors) and on the other hand – the behavioral factors of the population significantly influence the potential feasibility and efficiency of measures taken to adapt to the man-made influence on climate and to mitigate it.

13. Despite extensive and convincing scientific data on the current and anticipated climate change, there is a great uncertainty over assessments of theactual form of climate change and its influence on ecosystems, economic and political activity as well as social processes in different countries and regions. Considering the uncertainty in assessing future climate change and its consequences the Russian Federation believes that it is necessary to take actions and is ready to responsibly and constructively participate in relevant international initiatives. Actions should be based on scientifically proven assessment of risks, the necessity to take early measures to mitigate or prevent them, to enhance the protection of crucial interests of a person, society and state from climate change. At the same time, reducing uncertainty of assessments of future climate change and its consequences for the Russian Federation remains a priority of the state-funded climate research.

14. Climate change has diverse effects in various regions of the Russian Federation and differently affects population groups, economic sectors and natural sites in them. Therefore, it is impossible to definitively assess the potential climate change impact on the Russian Federation and develop aclimate change policy taking into account all related losses and benefits.

15. The population, natural sites, economic entities, military facilities and elements of national infrastructure differ in their character and vulnerability to the negative effects of climate change. At the same time, sometimes possible damage cannot be estimated in monetary terms, while the estimates of possible losses can be indicative. However, this should not hinder measures to ensure an acceptable security level being areasonable precaution for the most vulnerable territories, facilities and social groups, but should be considered especially when evaluating their vulnerability, developing and implementing early measures to prevent and neutralize or minimize negative consequences of the climate change.

16. Climate policy should be regularly and timely made up-to-date and take into account new findings on climate, including more accurate estimates of its possible change, economic development and technological advances, especially as regards production, transfer and consumption of energy and energy resources. Changes in the approaches of other countries and that of the international community as a whole, the progress of international interaction on climate issues and measures proposed at the international level should also be taken into account.

III. The climate policy

17. The climate policy is defined by the objectives that facilitate the achievement of its strategic goal and are achieved with due consideration of the specific features of the Russian Federation in the context of climate change.

18. The main objectives of the climate policy are:

to strengthen and develop the information and scientific basis of the climate policy, including building-up research, engineering and technological capacity of the Russian Federation to provide the most comprehensive and accurate information on the state of climate system, effects on climate, its current and future changes and their consequences;

to develop and implement immediate and long-term measures to adapt to the climate change;

to develop and implement immediate and long-term measures to mitigate the man-made impact on climate;

to engage in the initiatives of the international community to address the climate change and other related issues.

19. Improving knowledge on climate system is a necessary prerequisite for the development and implementation of an independent, scientifically and socially sound climate policy. Systematic climate observations, as well as fundamental and applied studies of its change ensure increased awareness among public authorities, economic actors, academic community, mass media and thepopulation of current and future climate change and its consequences, possible ways to adapt to these changes and measures for their mitigation, as well as the adoption of appropriate decisions.

Timely identification and assessment of threats to sustainable development and security of the Russian Federation, including threats to defense capabilities, economy, environment, life and health of the population are among the priorities of the climate policy.

20. Climate change adaptation is necessary to reduce the losses and take advantage of the benefits of current and future climate change.

Measures to adapt to climate change are envisaged in the decisions of governmental bodies taking into consideration international agreements of the Russian Federation. Measures to adapt to climate change, including preventive adaptation, are planned and implemented in the framework of public climate policy taking into account sectoral, regional and local context and the long-term character of these measures, their influence on different aspects of social, economic and public life.

21. In developing and planning measures to adapt to climate change the most important elements are the assessments of:

vulnerability to adverse effects of climate change and risk of related loses;

possibilities of obtaining benefits connected with the favorable consequences of climate change;

cost-effectiveness, efficiency (including economic) and feasibility of appropriate adaptation measures;

adaptive capacity, including economical, social and other important factors for the State, sectors of economy, population and separate social groups.

22. Preventive adaptation to the effects of climate change is a priority of the climate policy.

23. The Russian Federation focuses its efforts on lowering theanthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and increasing its absorption by carbon sinks and receivers. To this end, the following measures are foreseen to:

enhance energy efficiency in all economy sectors;

expand renewable and alternative energy sources use;

reduce market disproportions, implement financial and tax policy measures stimulating the reduction of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions;

protect and improve carbon sinks and receivers, including sustainable forest management, deforestation and reforestation on asustainable basis.

24. The ddevelopment of proposals on responsibilities concerning thereduction of greenhouse gas emissions should be based on the national interests with the participation of all Russian organizations concerned.

An efficient climate policy is to become an important factor and a catalyst of the country’s economy dynamic technological modernization, thestrengthening of its position in the global economic community, theimprovement of its competitiveness first of all as a result of its energy efficiency.

The Russian Federation will encourage research and development in thefield of energy efficiency, expanded use of renewable energy sources, greenhouse gas sink technologies and innovative environmentally acceptable technologies.

The creation of legal frameworks and mechanisms of state regulation aimed at the reduction of man-made impact on global climate system is among the priorities of our climate policy.

25. The Russian Federation takes part in developing collective measures of the world community for mitigating the human-made impact on climate, andtogether with other members of the world community it assists developing countries, including those that are among the most vulnerable to the negative effects of climate change, in implementing measures of adaptation and mitigation of the negative effects of climate change. At the same time, theRussian Federation assumes that a comprehensive and long-term solution to the climate problem is only possible if the universal character of the relevant international regime is ensured and all major greenhouse gas emitters participate in it based on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change principles, including the principle of common but differentiated responsibility, which implies an equitable burden for the countries, depending on their socio- economic development and natural and climatic characteristics.

IV. Distinctive features of the Russian Federation that need to be taken into account in addressing the climate change problem

26. A considerable part of the territory of the Russian Federation is subject to maximum climate changes (both observed and predicted ones).

Current and expected climate change, first of all the negative ones, as well as their consequences, have a significant impact on socio-economic development of the country as a whole, and life and health of its citizens.

27. Negative effects of the expected climate change for the Russian Federation include the following:

increased health risks (higher morbidity and death rates) among certain social groups;

increased recurrence, intensity and duration of droughts in some regions, and extreme precipitation patterns, floods, soil overmoisture, dangerous for agriculture, in others;

increased fire risk in forest areas;

permafrost degradation in the northern regions causing damage to buildings and communications lines;

ecological balance upset, including displacement of one species by others;

prevalence of infectious and parasitic diseases;

increased electric power consumption for air conditioning in summer in many human settlements.

28. Possible positive effects of the expected climate change for the Russian Federation with a significant potential for efficient sectoral and regional economic development include the following:

decreased energy consumption during heating seasons;

improved ice situation and, consequently, conditions of freight hauling in the Arctic seas and an easy access to the Arctic shelves and their exploration;

improved structure and expansion of the plant cultivation area, as well as increased efficiency of cattle breeding (along with meeting other conditions and taking certain measures);

increased productive efficiency of boreal forests.

29. As compared with many other countries and regions of the world, the Russian Federation as a whole has an advantage of better adaptive potential, due to the following factors:

vast territory;

substantial water resources;

relatively low proportion of the population residing on the territories particularly vulnerable to climate change.

30. Exceptional (in comparison with other countries) variety and scale ofclimate change in the regions of the Russian Federation and their consequences for its environment, economy and population are a natural result of its immense territory and the diversity of natural conditions.

While formulating climate policy, including the positioning of theRussian Federation within the international community, it is necessary totake into account the combined effect of the low average population density and immense territory leading to higher transportation needs (both directly for the population and for the infrastructure serving the needs of the government, population and economy) and cold climate resulting in additional heating needs, as well as the production and transportation of significant volumes of fuel and energy resources.

V. Implementation of the climate policy

31. The main areas of the climate policy are as follows:

establishment of legal and regulatory frameworks and government regulations in the area of climate change;

development of economic mechanisms related to theimplementation of measures aimed to adapt to and mitigate human impact on climate;

scientific, information and personnel support for the development and implementation of measures aimed to adapt to and mitigate human impact on climate;

international cooperation in the development and implementation of measures aimed to adapt to and mitigate human impact onclimate.

32. Developing legal and regulatory frameworks in the area of climate change is the main prerequisite for the establishment and effective functioning of a policy implementation mechanism in this area. In order to ensure that federal executive bodies and those of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation implement specific measures aimed at preventing and neutralizing threats to its national interests in the area of climate change, it is necessary to improve further the legislation of the Russian Federation in the above-mentioned area and to ensure that all economic actors strictly abide by it. Its legislation concerning climate change should be aligned with the relevant norms of international law inaccordance with the international obligations of the Russian Federation. Thebasic principles of the climate policy are also reflected in the legislation adopted by the constituent entities of the Russian Federation.

33. Effective implementation of measures aimed to adapt to and mitigate human impact on climate largely depends on various economic factors and their financial regulation.

The choice of economic instruments contributing to lower man-made greenhouse gas emissions (including the possible use of market mechanisms, such as emissions trading) will be determined on the basis of their effectiveness with the help of Government and private financing mechanisms.

While creating and improving national economic and financial mechanisms and incorporating them into the relevant international mechanisms, it is critical to ensure that vital interests of individuals, society and government are protected from the negative impact of climate change.

The provision to governments, business and civil society information for decision-making is pivotal to providing research support for the development and implementation of the climate change policy.

34. Research support for developing measures related to the adaptation and mitigation of human impact on climate includes the following priorities:

development and maintenance of climate observing systems, including climatic factors and climate change indicators, in the Russian Federation;

work on the safety criteria, limits (threshold levels) and standards by the Russian Federation and its regions with regard to the climate change;

research on and assessment of potential regional/global climate change and its impact;

elaboration of measures to prepare the economy and civil society for the effects of climate change;

development of methods for conducting inventory of greenhouse gas sources and sinks;

development of measures related to the mitigation of human impacts on the climate, particularly in the area of energy production and consumption, through research and generation of mechanisms for implementing the relevant innovative projects, and their social and economic impact assessment;

independent (including international) expert analyses of research findings in the area of climate and related fields.

35. Research support for implementing measures related to the adaptation and mitigation of human impact on climate includes the following:

positioning of Russian climate science and its integration in international climate research programmes and related studies, taking into account interest of the Russian Federation and benefiting from any possible international cooperation;

active involvement of Russian scientists in the preparation of international evaluation reports on the climate change and related issues;

ongoing preparation of national reports on observed and potential climate change and its effects, adaptation and mitigation patterns of human impact on climate, including evaluation of the current/future greenhouse gas emissions, emission reduction potential;

compliance of Russian climate research with international standards, acknowledgement of Russian research performance by the international research community and its use as a platform for interstate political dialogue on climate;

elaboration and implementation of state hi-tech operational capacity-building programme for national climate research centers.

36. Staffing arrangements for the development and implementation ofmeasures related to the adaptation and mitigation of human impact on climate are aimed to provide for research and development inclimate and related fields in line with international standards. That task could be accomplished through training and re-training of professionals in climate, its impact on economy, social area, public health and environment, and development and implementation of engineering and management measures related to the adaptation and mitigation of human impact on climate, including:

training of highly skilled research staff;

training of graduate students of academic institutions in Russia’s leading scientific institutions;

internships of the most promising young scientists, professionals, postgraduate and graduate students in the world major research centers;

training of diplomatic staff and groups of professional advisers for international negotiations and drafting international agreements on climate.

37. Awareness among all stakeholders, particularly highest officials, federal authorities, state bodies of the Russian Federation’s entities, business circles, civil society institutions and population of the climate change and its implications for the life of human beings, society and environment is one of themost important factors of successful development and effective implementation of climate policy for the benefit of the present and future generations. The priorities of such policy include an unprejudiced informational coverage of problems related to the climate change and its implications, including dissemination of scientific knowledge in this area, particularly through mass media, and the promotion of environmental culture among the population of the Russian Federation.

38. International cooperation in responding to the global and regional challenges of climate change and man-made impacts on climate is aimed atfinding efficient solutions of the climate problems with due account of global factors and national interests. International cooperation of the Russian Federation includes participation in the development and implementation of international agreements on climate change as well as in the activities of international organizations of the United Nations system dealing with the climate change and related problems.

International climate change programmes and projects are implemented in the territory of the Russian Federation in accordance with its legislation and with due account of its security interests.

VI. Executors of climate policy

39. Executors of climate policy are as follows:

 – federal authorities;

federal state bodies of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation and the local government bodies;

organizations including public organizations (associations);

mass media;


40. Possible future climate change will affect areas of responsibility ofpractically all federal state bodies. The federal state bodies have the following tasks in the development and implementation of the climate change policy:

identification of the broadest spectrum of problems raised by the climate change impact on policy, economy, social issues and environment, establishment of priorities;

integration and coordination of the federal state bodies’ climate-related activities in accordance with their terms of reference;

integration of measures aimed at the adaptation and mitigation of manmade impact on climate in the medium-term and longterm plans of social and economic development of the Russian Federation;

establishment of mechanisms of permanent constructive dialogue between the academic community, decision-making state bodies, population and business community.

41. Federal authorities shall be responsible for:

development and implementation of the legislation of the Russian Federation, taking into account the impact of climate onthe corresponding sectors of the economy and population;

development and implementation of measures to mitigate theconsequences of the climate change for the economy and society;

development of economic institutions and financial mechanisms, including taxation systems and financial incentives, conducive to technological modernization, replacement of the obsolete equipment, implementation of technologies that have potential towards reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases, including energy-efficient and energy saving technologies, technologies for reduction inthe emission of greenhouse gases for fuel and energy complex, transport, metallurgical industry, chemical industry and other branches, as well as intensification of use of renewable energy sources;

development of a legal instrument regulating the procedures for inventorying emissions of the greenhouse gases to the atmosphere;

introduction of an accounting system (the Russian register) for thesources of emission and absorption of the greenhouse gases (including forests, marshes and farmlands), as well as the inventory data (cadastre) on the anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases and their absorption by the sinks;

development and implementation of measures to organize and maintain a system of environmental education;

preparation and publication on a regular basis of national reports on climate change and its implications for the Russian Federation.

42. While working out regional and local programmes on sustainable development, the following goals in the field of climate change should be achieved:

development and implementation of the legislation of theconstituent entities of the Russian Federation, taking into account the impact of climate on the development of territories, sectors of the economy, and social sphere;

development and implementation of measures to adapt to theclimate change, including medium-term and long-term plans for social and economic development of regional and municipal entities, as well as the corresponding economic sectors, taking into account the climate change factor;

development and application of regional systems for efficient response to dangerous climate and weather events;

implementation of the legal instrument regulating the procedures for inventorying the emissions of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere;

implementation of measures to mitigate the human impact on the climate, including the promotion of technologies conducive toreduction in the emissions of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, as well as the technologies of the greenhouse gases absorption.

43. At the microeconomic level, the goals of adaptation to and mitigation ofthe human impact on climate shall be achieved by the enterprises in industrial and services sector and by households in everyday life through:

enhancing efficiency of production and consumption of thermal and electric power;

enhancing fuel efficiency of vehicles;

developing energy saving activities at industrial and infrastructural facilities, including reducing waste of energy and energy resources during the transportation;

enhancing energy efficiency of buildings and developing energy saving activities in everyday life;

using weather and climate forecasts to enhance energy efficiency inimplementing measures on adaptation to and mitigation of thehuman impact on climate;

increasing the proportion of alternative (including non-carbon) energy sources;

sound exploitation of forests and farmlands.

44. Taking into account a possible conflict of interests between the executors of climate policy, professional and other civil organizations (associations) will play an important role in preventing escalation of such conflicts and social tensions, as well as corrupt lobbying by particular interested groups. To this end, the interested parties will discuss ways to resolve the problems of climate change and its implications for the state, society and economy.

The implementation of the climate policy involves development on its basis of federal, regional and sectoral programmes and action plans.

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