Rosneft to allocate $5 billion for ‘green’ projects

Oil majors across the globe are pledging to reduce their carbon footprint to fight climate change, and Russian producers are joining them. Rosneft has announced plans to increase investment in environment-oriented projects by almost a third in the next half-decade.

Russia’s largest oil producer Rosneft is going to invest around $5 billion in environmentally friendly projects over the next five years, says Reuters. The investments will be used for projects such as restricting CO2 emissions and the utilisation of associated petroleum gas, a by-product of oil output, said the company on Monday. Besides, the producer intends to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 8 million tonnes by 2022. In the past five years, Rosneft’s “green” investments amounted to 240 billion rubles ($3,8 billion).

On 12 February, multinational oil and gas major BP, which owns 19,75% of Rosneft, announced one of the oil sector’s most ambitious targets. The company pledged to achieve a net-zero carbon footprint across its operations and halve the carbon intensity of its products by 2050 or sooner.

Russia is the world’s fourth-largest greenhouse gas emitter after China, the United States and India, according to the country’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. At the beginning of February, President Putin’s Adviser on Climate Issues Ruslan Edelgeriev said that Russia failed to achieve Putin’s goal of reducing the share of fossil fuels in the country’s economy by 40% in 2007-2020. The actual decrease totalled only 12%, which means that Russia won’t reach this goal until 2043 with the current rate of reduction. According to Edelgeriev, it will be a “serious problem”.

“The climate has changed and is changing, so the questions are how can we influence it so that it doesn’t change further, how to adapt to what has changed and determining what to do next,” he said at a press conference in Moscow. Edelgeriev also mentioned natural disasters like last summer’s widespread wildfires in Siberia as a sign that Russia needed to take action against climate change. “I believe that we can’t afford to assume that they’re burning as part of a natural process — it’s necessary to intervene and ensure that the forests don’t burn,” he said.

However, Russia has made some progress in reducing its coal and oil consumption, the presidential adviser said. The share of these two products in Russia’s energy mix decreased by 4% between 2015 and 2018, while the use of natural gas rose by about 3,5% annually in the same period.

By Anna Litvina

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