Information campaign "Energy efficiency" as the technology to reduce human impact to climate

In the Public Chamber of the RF28th of March 2014 at the round table "The role of various technologies to reduce the risks associated with the climate change"the latest data were presented, which show that the climate change is already bearing the risks and damages.There will not be any beneficiary of climate change, and we must act to keep the situation stable as much as we can. Experts suggest low-carbon development scenarios for RF. Russian Socio-Ecological Union presented the information campaign "Energy Efficiency - the largest, cleanest and cheapest source of energy in Russia" as a social tool for promoting low-carbon solutions.

Organizers of the Roundtable: Civil Eights Working Group "Civil Society and Global Environmental Security" and the Commission on social policy, labor relations and quality of citizens life of the Russian Federation Public Chamber.

The roundtable was a part of the activities for the development of civil society recommendations for "The Group of Eight". This event is dedicated to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report second part release - "Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability". Release of this part shows again - the risk is real, the risk is high,it’s importantfor all countries - "there are no winners". According to Alexei Kokorin (WWF, Russia) the risk and probable damage is especially high for more than 100 small and most vulnerable developing countries, particularly in Central Asia. For some areas it’s catastrophic. Adaptation capabilities are not unlimited. The scenario of greenhouse gas emissions depends a lot, although the consequences from emissions reduction will be effective not earlier than 2050. It is important to assess adaptation measures compared with the rate of situation deterioration – there may be no time to adapt, then you need to deal with the damage compensation.

To reduce the human impact on the greenhouse effect, in practice means - to accelerate the movement towards green energy, resource and energy efficiency.
Igor Bashmakov (CEUE) presented results of the project "Costs and benefits of the low carbon economy and the society transformation in Russia. Prospects for 2050."

According to I. Bashmakov the scenarios for reducing emissions can be divided into three groups:
- Scenarios that work in a "soft" version corresponding to the Presidential Decree № 752 "On the reduction of greenhouse gases". This document states to holdemissions in 2020 by 25% below 1990 level.
- Scenarios, implementation of which will require successful achievement of not only the "active" measures, but also a package of "new" policy actions and programs
- Scenarios on "hard" way, where you can formulate the goal as –to ensure in 2021-2030 average emissions not higher than 70% from the 1990 level

Even the second scenarios group will requireadditional measures to existing programs. And for the third group of scenarios we need to stop the growth of emissions and begin to reduce them. We need to use all available resources, including energy efficiency - one of the key priorities.

Olga Senova, Coordinator of the Russian Socio-Ecological Union (RSEU) Climate Secretariat and Chair person of the "Friends of the Baltic" organization, presented RSEU campaign "Energy Efficiency - the largest, cleanest and cheapest source of energy in Russia", which was launched in November 11th 2013 and covers at least 20 regions of the Russian Federation. According to the expert estimations, up to 30% of energy efficiency lies at the final energy consumption level.And about the same resource can be activated by propaganda. The campaign aims to accelerate the Energy Efficiency State program implementation for the period until 2020 and to show more energy resources not yet involved in the various sectors.

The expected annual energy saving of electricity within the state program (63 billion kWh) exceeds the total planned annual production of biggest nuclear power plants in Russia (Leningrad and Kursk NPP produce 28 billion kWh per year each) and the capacity of the biggest thermal power station in Russia, the Surgut GRES (up to 39 billion kWh per year).

Nuclear energy and hydropower is often declared as "clean" carbon-free energy resources. Askhat Kayumov, Head of the Ecological Center "Dront", showed example of the Cheboksary HPP construction on the river Volga (in the part concerning Cheboksary reservoirlevelraising to the normal 68 meters headwater level). He told that the environmental and social impact of the large-scale hydropower greatly exceed expected benefits.When the reservoir level will rise - 89.9 hectares will be flooded, up to 350 hectares will be impounded, a lot of residential and industrial areas will be out of service, manyvaluable plant and animal species and their habitats will be lost. The project cost is 97 billion rubles, but damage will be more than 1.7 trillion rubles (just over resettlement, infrastructure construction and engineering protection – withouttaking into account prejudice to the nature and cultural heritage).

Vladimir Slivyak, head of the group "Ecodefence", presenteddata on the atomic energy showing that the 20% emissions reduction is possible only if all of the planned coal plants will be replaced by the nuclear 4900GW power plants (Leventhal 2002), 1,500 new reactors will be set in operation by the year2050 (MIT) and 2000 reactors with 1000 MW capacity. According to the British Commission on Sustainable Development doubling nuclear capacity would give only 8% emissions reduction by the year 2035.

At the same time, climate change increasingly raises the risk for nuclear power plants (typhoons, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, etc.) which far outweigh the minimal contribution that nuclear power is providing to reduce emissions. We should also remember that uranium enrichment is connected with the giant energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

Roundtable Protocol became the final outcome of the event, including comments and opinions of the participants, which suppose to be presented at the Civil Eight Summit. But taking in to account that the Civil Eight Summit realization is problematic, these document will be used in the Civil Twentypreparation, if the issues of climate and energy will be on the agenda.