WWF- Russia Approached the Government of the Russian Federation with a Set of Economical Measures for Overcoming the Crisis
On April 29, the Ministry of Economic Development, the Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection as well as other interested federal executive bodies were instructed to develop a national action plan to restore employment, income, and economic growth and submit it to the Government by May 25.
WWF Russia believes that the sustainable development of the country is impossible without the conservation of its natural ecosystems.
The Fund has proposed a list of nine measures that the Government needs to consider while setting long-term goals and developing solutions to overcome the current crisis.
The first item on the list is the preservation and further enforcement of the existing environmental legislation. Evidently, disregard for environmental laws and regulations entails tremendous economic and environmental damage: today, the tragic consequences of alluvial gold extraction can be seen in many regions of Siberia and the Russian Far East.
The letter particularly focuses on the topic of subsidizing various sectors of the economy. The message states, "Taking into account the future reboot of the global economy after the end of the pandemic, we call the Government to revise the economic development model of the country for setting further long-term goals as well as more actively support the industries that contribute to the sustainable development of society."
The Fund calls for an end to subsidies for fossil fuel extraction and urges the Government to bring greater focus to the development of renewable energy, green construction, electric vehicles and low carbon transport, ecotourism, sustainable agriculture as well as the sectors of the economy that are engaged in recycling.Environmentalists note the need to develop and implement economic incentives for energy efficiency projects. The letter offers specific mechanisms for this.
The recommendations proposed by WWF Russia also addresses the draft Low Carbon Development Strategy that, according to environmentalists, needs to be adopted in 2020.
One of the global trends that emerged in the wake of the pandemic is a sharp decline in oil demand and the resulting agreements adopted by OPEC+ to limit future oil production. The Fund proposes to use this opportunity to decommission oil fields with high social and environmental costs. One such example is the Sakhalin oil fields operated by Rosneft where ruptures of oil pipelines occur with saddening regularity, with the latest one happening as recently as this year.
Regarding the transparency and reliability of data on the state of the environment, the Fund recommends adopting the regulations on environmental information as well as the law for the improvement of environmental impact assessment, which mandates public discussion of projects at the earliest stage of their development, by the end of 2020.
Experts of the WWF-Russia referred to a number of materials supported by relevant ministries, the Analytical Center for the Government of the Russian Federation, and businesses. The Fund is willing to share these findings for the development of the national action plan to restore employment, income, and economic growth.
Cover photo was taken from the web site of the Government of Russian Federation
Headline photo: (c) Yuliya Kalinicheva / WWF-Russia