Vitaly Yermakov spoke at the RAND Business Leaders Forum (11.12.21)
On December 11th, Vitaly Yermakov, CCEIS expert, spoke at the RAND Business Leaders Forum.
Vitaly’s topic was “COP-26 and Russia”, and his main points were as follows:
- The results of COP-26 have demonstrated that the tradeoffs between growth and climate mitigation are real and difficult causing the international politics of climate change to lead to disunity in case of a radical and hasty transition.
- An attempt to shift the policy agenda at COP-26 away from demand-side measures to supply-side pressure and restrictions, declaring coal the main “enemy” and casting any investment incentives for hydrocarbons as “inefficient fossil fuel subsidies” has run into the opposition of the developing countries that need to address energy poverty and maintain economic growth.
- Power crunch in China and gas crunch in Europe are powerful reminders that energy transition is going to be costly and volatile and is going to lead to political upheavals.
- Elections will be lost by politicians who placed their bets on the green agenda but failed to deliver energy security.
- Russia’s energy strategy is evolving in response to climate change agenda but the official documents like ES-2035 are outdated and are no longer relevant. Russia’s recent policy guidance suggests the readiness for course corrections but also the intent to protect its vital interests. This results in pragmatic approach to energy transition based on Russia’s strategic strengths and free of ideological dogmas. At the same time, Russia’s leadership has realized that it must be actively involved in shaping the global climate agenda. Russia’s pledge of reaching net zero by 2060 will be achieved via a combination of processes, involving energy efficiency, greater role of natural gas combined with CCUS followed by a gradual introduction of hydrogen, new generation of nuclear, and increasing the absorption capacity of Russia’s forests.