Russia's cumulative carbon budgets for a global 2°C target

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Russia is the fifth highest emitter of carbon dioxide, and has been in the top five for at least six decades. However, thus far no in-depth study has estimated Russia's cumulative emissions in the context of the global 2°C constraint. This is despite the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reiterating the importance of cumulative emissions and their approximately linear correlation with temperature rises. Translating the global 2°C temperature commitment into a meaningful national context, this paper derives and evaluates 2°C-compatible carbon budgets for Russia, based on a range of apportionment regimes. The work contributes to the debate by providing a deeper analysis of the principles of allocating carbon emissions to Russia, while considering two probabilities for remaining within 2°C. This analysis demonstrates how, if Russia is to make a fair contribution to global emission reductions in line with 2°C, its 2011-2100 cumulative emissions should not exceed 20-26 GtCO2, commensurate with a 37-52% probability of exceeding the global 2°C commitment. If Russia continues to emit CO2 at current annual levels, this budget will be 'spent' by the mid-2020s. Yet, the carbon budget estimated here for Russia appears technically feasible, if extremely challenging. Despite continuing to assert itself as a fossil fuel superpower, Russia has a wealth of opportunities for full and early decarbonisation, including the potential to become a net exporter of renewable energy.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalCarbon Management
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015