The majority of the far east of Russia is so vast that it has been left mainly to the bears, wolves, and rare breed of tiger which lived there. The Kremlin now wants to use it to entice the world by the idea that the country is playing its part in the fight against climate change. Russia, one of the major energy exporters and polluters worldwide, is creating a digital platform for collecting satellite and drone data on the forests’ CO2 absorption capacity. It is intended to make an area of almost twice India’s size a marketplace to offset its carbon footprint by companies.
The hope is that the plan will also shift away some of Moscow’s criticism about its unambitious attempts at climate change ahead of the United Nations negotiations later this year. Russia has long argued that the sequestration potential of its forests, which have an estimated 640 billion trees, should be given more sluggish climate negotiations. But the giant taiga has so far been poorly managed and has led in the previous two years to record forest fires because global warming has warmed up the summers.
In an interview, Alexey Tschekunkov, Minister for the growth of the Far East and the Arctic said that Russia has 20 per cent of world forests and so the international community must have a fair relationship. We can turn it into an enormous carbon capture hub.
To invest in the sowing of new trees and protect the existing ones, firms would be able to lease forest areas from the Russian Government for the same. The company could then create a carbon credit that will be traded on a digital platform after it has been confirmed that the investment has enhanced CO2 absorption.
According to the most recent data, Russia’s managed forests absorbed nearly 620 million tons of CO2 equivalent in 2018, enough to offset around 38% of the country’s emissions. However, scientists have criticized carbon offsetting schemes, stating that, to prevent disastrous global warming, greenhouse gas emissions must be cut in half worldwide by the end of this decade and zero by 2050. Offsetting has been compared by Fern, a campaign group based in Brussels and the United Kingdom, to moving deck chairs as the Titanic sinks.
Russia has the weakest atmospheric aims in comparison to any large economy and plans a small increase in emissions by 2030. Canada, whose forest area is the third-largest in the world and an economy that is predominantly based on the extraction of fossil fuels, is also setting up a market-to-market carbon credits, but by mid-century. The system will work alongside efforts to achieve carbon neutrality.
Alexey Kokorin, director of the WWF Russia, Climate and Energy Program, said that Russia must play a major part in reducing emissions through renewable energy, new technology, and energy efficiency. Furthermore, the development of forests would occur with very strict criteria. The Climate Action Tracker rates for Russian climatic targets are “critically insufficient”. Anna Romanowskaya, director of the Yu. A. Izrael Institute of Global Climate and Ecology in Moscow, said that Russia is not able to use carbon offsets as part of the Paris Agreement. However, she said, theoretical companies could still sell credits internationally if they can demonstrate that they have added to the absorption capacity of forests.
At an early meeting held earlier in the month, the state-regulated oil and gas giant Gazprom Neft, Sibur Holding’s petrochemical producer PAO, and machinery producer Sinara group, Mr Valery Falkov, the Minister of Science and Higher Education, told the President of Russia that he had an interest in investing in future pilot carbon trading forests projects.
According to Maxim Khudalov, head of sustainable development risk assessment at Moscow-based Acra Ratings, the Far East project could help reduce losses from a European Union plan to impose a levy on some emissions-intensive products. The so-called Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism, which is set to take effect in 2023, is expected to cost Russian raw material exporters up to 8 billion dollars per year.
Moreover, it is difficult to get accurate data on forest carbon sequestration because trees are vulnerable to unpredictable events such as forest fires and outbreaks. Detailed inventory data are also needed, which in Russia have not been updated on average within 25 years. Planting offset programs have been criticized since many have been found not to contribute to a reduction in atmospheric CO2 levels.
We have to show the international Romanovskaya said that the community which calculates carbon dioxide absorption is precise, reliable, and not even a single unit is miscalculated for our offset projects. An error, let alone an intentional counterfeit, and our projects’ credibility can be lost.
What causes CO2 emissions to be so harmful to our environment?
CO2, also known as carbon dioxide, is a greenhouse gas produced by automobiles, boats, aircraft, and buses that contributes to global warming. Humans and animals, on the other hand, make this gas naturally. We exhale carbon dioxide as we inhale oxygen. As a result, there is no problem with CO2 as a gas. The issue is the presence of excess CO2 amounts in the atmosphere due to multiple human activities.
We have generated energy from a great variety of sources such as gas, oil, and coal for our needs of everyday lives over the years. CO2 emissions from the manufacturing of those materials pollute our clean air, forming an invisible layer around the globe and this layer, in a sense, traps the heat inside the earth, resulting in global warming. The greenhouse effect is another name for this process. It is similar to what occurs in a greenhouse. Assume a person is growing tomatoes in a greenhouse. Tomatoes need sun and heat to grow, which are difficult to come by in the winter. As a result, the greenhouse traps the heat and keeps it inside. Not all of the radiation that enters the greenhouse is returned to the outside environment. And as a result, the polar caps are melting and the sea levels are increasing.
This is precisely what is happening on our planet right now. The heat can’t reflect because of the carbon dioxide layer around our planet, so it’s absorbed by the earth. While the sun shines on the earth every day, the temperature rises.
The effects of CO2 (carbon) gases are a hotly debated topic since the exact nature of the effects is unknown. Furthermore, due to Donald Trump’s declaration that there is no such thing as global warming, this issue has become even more widely debated. Fortunately, a great deal of research has been done around the world to track climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which was established on behalf of the United Nations in 1998, is one of these research firms. They believe, among other things, that global warming is causing polar ice caps to melt and sea levels to rise.