Anatoly Chubais Suggests Stepping up Efforts to Introduce Regulatory Changes Governing Hydrocarbon Use in Russia

03 September 2020

Chairman of the Executive Board of RUSNANO Management Company Anatoly Chubais took part in the teleconference entitled “The carbon border tax—a challenge for Russia’s economy or a new phase of trade wars?”, hosted by Business Russia (a public organization) with support from the Presidential Executive Office. The conference was organized in response to a decision made by the European Union to introduce a new carbon border tax starting in 2023 with the view of fighting climate change. 

The tax will supposedly apply to products imported from countries where energy efficient technologies are not being actively used and greenhouse emissions are not sufficiently regulated. “Nowadays, when we talk about carbon protectionism, we are no longer referring to the protection of certain markets but to a switch to a general carbon tax that each country will end up introducing. And if a nation fails to do so, it will pay it to other countries,” said Anton Danilov-Danilyan, Co-Chairman of Business Russia.

“We have been talking about this for a long time. EU’s new regulatory measures currently under discussion are estimated to cost Russian exporters from $3 to $6 billion per year,” pointed out Anatoly Chubais. “We cannot force the EU to reverse its decisions as they are in line with WTO norms and are not in contravention of any laws,” noted the head of RUSNANO. Hence, he said one of the first measures to be taken would be to work on nation-wide legislation to regulate the fossil fuel industry and subsequently adopt it. Anatoly Chubais also called the current bill on “Government regulation of greenhouse emissions” “toothless”. “Tough new legislation is required, as in the absence of it, we’ll be forced to pay into foreign state budgets,” opined Anatoly Chubais.

In addition, it is important to start working on the issue of low energy efficiency prevalent in key spheres of the Russian economy promptly and systematically. “Substantial sectoral shifts have taken place in Russia, I’m referring to the renewable energy sphere, which did not exist in the country just three years ago. Still, in other sectors, the issue of energy efficiency is a pressing one,” he noted.

Anatoly Chubais said the idea of introducing a carbon tax in Russia (i.e. setting limits on emissions and fining those who exceed them) is a painful but an important topic. “Such a payment is, in itself, an important tool for influencing the economic structure, generating demand for energy efficient solutions and stimulating the power plant engineering sector. This step will encourage businesses to consider their carbon footprint, and to monitor and assess their impact on the environment,” he noted. In addition, Anatoly Chubais believes that the tax should be introduced gradually and at first, the size of it ought to be purely symbolic.

Other participants of the conference included Advisor to the President of the Russian Federation and Special Presidential Representative on Climate Issues Ruslan Edelgeriyev, Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation Ilya Torosov, and representatives from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation, leading metal companies/ exporters and expert organizations. 

Additional information

Reference

RUSNANO Joint-Stock Company was founded in March 2011 through reorganization of state corporation Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies. JSC RUSNANO contributes to implementation of the state policy on the development of the nanotechnology industry by investing directly and through investment funds of nanotechnology in financially effective high-technology projects providing the development of new production facilities in the Russian Federation. Its primary investment focus is in electronics, optoelectronics and telecommunications, healthcare and biotechnology, metallurgy and metalwork, energy, mechanical engineering and instrument making, construction and industrial materials, chemicals and petrochemicals. 100 percent of RUSNANO’s shares are state owned. Thanks to RUSNANO’s investments, there are currently 115 factories and R&D Centers opened in 37 regions in Russia.

Management of assets of RUSNANO JSC is carried out by Limited Liability Company established in December 2013, RUSNANO Management Company. Anatoly Chubais is the Chairman of its Executive Board.

Work to establish nanotechnology infrastructure and carry out educational programs is fulfilled by RUSNANO’s Fund for Infrastructure and Educational Programs, which was also established during the reorganization of the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies.