Russia Pledges Essentially Zero To Global Greenhouse Gas Goals

Russia's intended nationally determined contribution by 2030 is ... nothing


Putin Laughing

Yesterday, the Obama administration issued its proposals for the country's intended nationally determined contributions (INDC) to the global effort to prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the world's climate under the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Obama pledged that the U.S. would cut its greenhouse gas emissions by up to 28 percent by 2025 with the goal of reducing them by 80 percent by 2050.

Every country is supposed to issue their INDC pledges before the next big U.N. climate change meeting in Paris this coming December. The Russians have just issued their INDC and it's kind of amusing. The Russians pledge to aim at:

Limiting anthropogenic greenhouse gases in Russia to 70-75% of 1990 levels by the year 2030 might be a long-term indicator, subject to the maximum possible account of absorbing capacity of forests.

Why amusing? If I am reading the data right, Russian emssions are already well below the 70 percent mark. According to U.N. data, total Russian greenhouse gas emissions amounted to about 3.4 billion metric tons in 1990. In the wake of the economic turmoil occasioned by the collapse of the Soviet Union, emissions dropped to 2 billion metric tons in 2000 and subsequently rose to 2.3 billion tons in 2012. As the new INDC pledge makes clear that Russians want to count the capacity of that country's extensive forests to absorb carbon dioxide as an offset to greenhouse gas emissions.

In climate-speak the effects of forests on the fates of greenhouse gas emissions is called LULUCF (land use, land use changes and forests). Again parsing the U.N. data, one finds that in 1990, Russia was cutting its forests and so emitting extra greenhouse gases for a total of 3.5 billion metric tons in 1990. Forest regrowth by 2000 was absorbing 400 million tons of carbon dioxide, reducing Russian overall emissions to just 1.6 billion tons. By 2012, forests were removing 500 million tons, thus reducing emissions to 1.8 million tons.

So assuming that Russians don't count the greenhouse gas absorption of their trees, current emissions already 32 percent lower than they were in 1990. If they count their trees as they seem to want to do in the new INDC, overall emissions are currently 50 percent below their 1990 levels.

So one way to interpret the Russian INDC is that the country has no intention of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions and, in fact, has left plenty of space for it to increase its overall greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Very funny, no?

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  1. Shorter Putin:

    Come at me bro

  2. See, it serves the environmental movement’s ends for economies to crash.

    1. It doesn’t hurt that the Soviet Union evaporated. The previous regime didn’t even pretend to have accountability, just central planning.

      The Communist countries always did have the worst environmental record.

    2. it served pretty much everybodys ends that the Soviet Union’s economy crashed (esp. the ppl in the former Soviet Union)

  3. So he’s hoping the Russian population stops declining? Or Russia keeps expanding.

  4. So one way to interpret the Russian INDC is that the country has no intention of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions and, in fact, has left plenty of space for it to increase its overall greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Very funny smart, no?

    Especially given that AGW is a hoax.

  5. Putin’s contempt for global warming hysterics, like our beloved Ron, was for years the only thing I liked about him. Giving Snowden permission to stay in Russia must be the other thing. That’s about it.

    1. For a dictator that kills his detractors he doesn’t come out as all that bad of a guy on the national stage. Mind, that’s probably because the only time I hear about him is when he’s ticking off the proggies, so that gives a warped perspective of his actions. If I was in Russia, I’d probably despise the man for mile long list of things.

  6. In Putin’s Russia – carbon emits you!

    So, Russia give the middle finger salute to CAGW. I wonder what India and China will do?

    1. An empty “commitment” they will make no effort to achieve – just like everyone else.

  7. Considering the INDC is ultimately just useless posturing, the Russians simply played it intelligently. The 70-75% number sounds good, but doesn’t require anything (or gives them cover if they emit more). Win-win.

  8. Why haven’t you jackasses fired Ron Bailey over his idiotic global warming tomfoolerly already? If he can bring a single tiny piece of evidence to the party, I may reconsider my comment. But for now, he’s the dumbest science reporter Reason can find.

    1. Are you angling for an internship?

  9. According to U.N. data, total Russian greenhouse gas emissions amounted to about 3.4 billion metric tons in 1990

    I’d like to know how you go about measuring that

    1. With a metric scale?

  10. Very funny, no?

    Not as funny as the fact that Russia is one of the big winners under global warming.

    1. Yeah, telling a de facto dictator that you want him to crater his country’s economy even further so that even more of his subject can literally die from even more bitterly cold winters is likely to get … non-compliance.

  11. My ex-wife makes $75 every hour on the laptop . She has been laid off for seven months but last month her pay check was $18875 just working on the laptop for a few hours.
    Look At This. ????

  12. This just proves that we in the w\West are as dumb as a bag of hammers buying into the AGW fraud, and the Russians are quite smart to ignore it as the pure bullshit that it is.

  13. See, this is what worries me. Just today there is an article making the rounds about thawing permafrost, a positive feedback loop that so far has not even been considered in any of the predictions from places like the IPCC. And in that permafrost, there is double the amount of carbon that already exists in the atmosphere, most of it in the top 3 meters.…..about-yet/

    Now, do we know how much of it could be released as the permafrost thaws? No, not yet. Has much been released so far? No. But that release is being studied by Kevin Schaeffer at the National Snow and Ice Data Center.…..dback.html

    We are, however, being warned by scientists that this is a potential problem that might negate ANY of the improvements we ourselves make on emissions.

    So, it seems to me we can just ignore it all, because it hasn’t happened yet. But its all not a hoax, its all not political, its just science saying that things might even be worse than we think. Its foolish to ignore it. As Schaeffer says, its “a true climatic tipping point, because it’s completely irreversible. Once you thaw the permafrost, there’s no way to refreeze it.”

    Keeping an eye on his work might be worthwhile.

  14. Jackand Ace you don’t have a clue. The so called scientist have been shown to be the boy that cried wolf.

  15. a big part of libertarianism is skepticism of mans ability to understand incredibly complex systems, like economies.

    for that reason, Im surprised that the prevailing attitude here is denialism rather than skepicism when it comes to climate, which is just another highly complex system.

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