Air clear new quotas


Ilya Smirnov / Kommersant

Today in Moscow will pass session of the state Council on ecology, which can be adopted the Concept of green development of the Russian Federation until 2030 with prospect until 2050. One of the key proposals of the document — the introduction of quotas for emissions for companies at the regional level, if the use of best available techniques does not lead to improving air quality in industrial cities. Experts assess positively the initiative, but talking about the resistance of business to the new measures green regulation.

For the state Council meeting in Moscow a group of experts from research and public organizations analyzed the main environmental problems in Russia. The report “On the environmental development of the Russian Federation in the interests of future generations” (“b”) identifies four main priorities, according to the authors, clear and relevant to the population-it’s clean air, clean water, waste management and conservation of forests and biodiversity. One of the fundamental environmental problems of the Russian Federation-stabilization of emissions polluting the atmosphere, surface waters and soil after a nearly two-fold decline in the 1990-ies. Its solution requires “drastic measures of state regulation,” the authors acknowledge.

According to the report, now in cities with high and very high levels of air pollution has about 50,7 million people, or more than 50% of the urban population, soil 10% of settlements are dangerously contaminated by heavy metals, and the condition of 15% of water bodies used for drinking water supply do not meet sanitary requirements. Air pollution in cities leads to 30-50 thousand additional deaths per year (2-3% of the total), losses and damages from pollution and degradation of natural resources reaches 4-6% of GDP, and given the health consequences of people-10-15% of GDP. While 73% of Russians are concerned about the environmental situation, 12% consider environmental problems a priority, and 20% are ready to defend their interests.

It is expected that the results of the meeting of the state Council will approve the list of presidential instructions to the government (yet, according to “Kommersant”, 28), which, according to experts, may be signed by Vladimir Putin in mid-January. A key proposal of the authors of the report included in the project instructions — the creation of a mechanism of cap and trade for businesses at the regional level. According to “Kommersant”, the initiative comes from the administration of Chelyabinsk region. “In some industrial regions of the enterprises have switched to NDT, but to breathe in the cities is still impossible, so the problem can be solved only with additional methods of quota allocation,” said Director of conservation policy, world wildlife Fund (WWF), Eugene Schwartz. The Council propose to give regional authorities full access to information on environmental pollution, to empower the subjects of the Russian Federation the right accounting of atmospheric pollution and require enterprises to install automatic monitoring system of emissions. As explained by the Deputy head of the drafting group of the report, the Executive Director of the Center for energy efficiency, Igor Bashmakov, it is expected that in cities with a high concentration of sources of pollution quotas will be determined for each enterprise for each pollutant.

“I hope that the authors will be able to defend this idea — it causes quite a lot of resistance from business, especially the RSPP,” says Eugene Schwartz. At the same time, according to experts, it is extremely important to encourage businesses to further the implementation of clean technologies and voluntary disclosure of emissions and discharges. In the RSPP the idea of environmentalists until its review in the state Council does not comment, noting that while she has only the status of the proposal. Environmentalists expect that the draft decisions on the results of the state Council will continue the instruction of the government and the Bank to prepare guidelines on the management of non-financial risks and the use of green market-based instruments and public private companies of Russia.

Angelina Davydova