Russian Federation: Public support grows for climate change response
MOSCOW, Russian Federation – 24 June 2010 – The issue has been brought up so many times – maybe it’s time to take action, says an award winning artist and young climate change advocate from Russia. Watch: video on what climate change means to Russian children. View: artwork on climate change by young, award winning Russian artists
Young artists in Russia are featured in a new video, capturing the sentiment of young people in the country – part of growing public support for environmental protection and responses to climate change.
"We, ourselves, create what is around us," say the award winning young artists. "To preserve our world, we have to take action together."
In the run up to Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen, young artists took part in a contest sponsored by the United Nations in Russia and the Young Peacekeepers Movement – helping to raise awareness of global environmental challenges through art work. Since then, the young artists have continued to advocate for environmental protection.
Russia is the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and is particularly vulnerable to the threat of climate change, especially in the Arctic and southern regions of the country.
It is predicted that rising temperatures and extreme weather conditions, provoking droughts and floods, could lead to increased crop failure and significantly affect food supply.
Extreme weather conditions also increase the risk of floods, endangering coastal cities such as Saint Petersburg.
Communities and energy infrastructure on permafrost areas are particularly at risk.
Climate change will have a negative impact on many parts of the national economy and the energy sector may be among the hardest hit. Over the past decade Russia has experienced steady economic growth, accompanied with a growing energy demand from industry.
In Russia, over 72 percent of green house gas emissions are related to the use of fossil fuels, and the energy intensity of Russia's economy is among the highest in the world.
"In order for the [energy] sector to develop, meet modern challenges and provide sustainable development of the country’s economy, the Government policy ... aims to maximize the efficiency of energy resource utilization and the potential of the energy sector," said Minister of Energy, Sergey I. Shmatko in Russia’s recently launched National Human Development Report on the energy sector and sustainable development.
Russia’s climate change policy seeks to ensure safe and sustainable national development, including the institutional, economic, environmental and social aspects of development.
UNDP is working closely with the Government and civil society organizations in the area of climate change and energy efficiency.
|One of the award winning paintings from young Russian artists on the topic of climate change - see all of the winners|
UNDP projects aim to reduce barriers to energy efficiency in all sectors of the Russian economy and to promote market transformation towards energy efficient technologies.
Climate change mitigation calls for stabilizing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere through the reduction of GHG emissions in all economic sectors. This can be achieved by reducing energy intensity, increased use of renewable energy and introduction of new low-carbon technologies.
UNDP in Russia, supported by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), works with the Government, legislative bodies and the private sector in order to encourage investments and demonstrate the effectiveness of new technologies. This work is becoming particularly relevant with the development of carbon markets. Investments into new low-carbon technologies allow Russian companies to participate in,and benefit from, Joint Implementation projects under the Kyoto Protocol and leverage resources for industrial modernization.
To support national priorities, UNDP works on improving climate change adaptation capacities in the most vulnerable regions and integrating adaptation strategies into programmes for social and economic development.
UNDP has already tested this approach with a project in Murmansk oblast in the North of the Russian Federation, looking at the impact of climate change and the resiliency of Russia’s Arctic region as well as the long term effect on social and economic development of the region.
This work helped raise awareness and improve public knowledge about climate change both in the region and throughout the country.
UNDP also initiated a new area of work in Russian Altai-Sayan and Komi Republic, supported by the German International Climate Initiative, that addresses protection of natural carbon pools such as forests and peatlands and supports the resilience of ecosystems, important for the maintenance of natural carbon balances.
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