Arkhangelsk region and its leading university are interested in creating climate plans

On March 23-24 Arkhangelsk hosted an international civil forum "2b sustainable. Climate and energy. " The forum was organized and conducted by the Environmental Movement of Arkhangelsk "42" (formerly "Aetas") with the support of the Norwegian Barents Secretariat in Russia, in cooperation with the Arctic Federal University named after M.V. Lomonosov and with the active participation of a team of experts representing RSEU, CAN-International network and the Institute of Applied Economic Research of the Russian Academy of Science and Technology.

The forum became the first platform in Arkhangelsk for climate-related discussions, with the main focus on the possibilities of developing renewable energy sources to address climate change issues in the region. The expert of the Russian Socio-Ecological Union presented the topic of climate actions in and by the regions and discussed the need to create climate plans for Arkhangelsk, the region, small settlements, as well as for schools, industrial enterprises and various public institutions.

Representatives of the government and city administration, businesses, researchers, students, public figures and many others took part in the forum. The program of the event was prepared in such a way as to convey information about the climate in an easy and accessible manner, understandable not only to specialists in this field, but also to ordinary people.

The expert of RSEU Climate Secretariat Ekaterina Uspenskaya, in her speech at the opening plenary session, spoke about the idea of ​​creating climate plans and strategies that serve the purpose of integrated planning and implementation of actions to reduce our impact on the climate and to adapt to the negative consequences of climate change. Plans (road maps) of climate action, or climate strategies are created around the world - in countries, regions, cities and small settlements, municipalities, business, as well as at universities and schools.

In Russia, there are examples of the development of such plans - for example, a model climate strategy for the Barents region, a model strategy for climate adaptation of St. Petersburg and others. RSEU in 2014-2015 made an overview of the possibilities of climate action in the regions, and in 2017 published a brochure "Climate Change. What can the regions do? ". Currently, RSEU conducts training webinars for regional activists on this topic. In the SPARE program (the school project for the use of resources and energy), schools are also starting to work on this topic - a special nomination has been created for the climate plans of schools, and the first drafts of school climate plans have already been submitted to the All-Russian contest in 2018.

Vladimir Dyachkov, the leading specialist of the Center for Environmental Investments (CEI), Head of the Bureau of Monitoring and Management of GHG Emissions, spoke at a roundtable on specific Russian examples in this area. He presented the experience of successful cooperation of CEI with the Arkhangelsk Pulp and Paper Mill in the field of accounting and reduction of emissions within the framework of Kyoto projects. According to V. Dyachkov, such climate actions can bring tangible benefits to Russian enterprises. But they should show some "flair" and use the opportunities that are opening before them. In the near future, CEI also plans to conduct an inventory of emissions in Arkhangelsk region and develop an integrated climate strategy for it.

Evgeny Vyazov, regional coordinator of SPARE program and the chairman of the youth ecological association "Third Planet from the Sun" (Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area), presented his experience in promoting climate action in the city of Pokachi and the region as a whole, by the public. At present, the KhMAO-Ugra Roadmap has been adopted, as well as the Climate Strategy of the municipality of Pokachi. Evgeny advised public activists to interact constructively with local authorities, by putting forward proposals for practical climate measures and demonstrating successful examples of the introduction of such measures in other regions.

One of the first steps in the implementation of climate action is an inventory of emissions and a general analysis of their impact on the climate system. This is relevant both for regions and enterprises, and for schools and universities. In order to demonstrate an example of such a study, Evgeny Vyazov conducted a master class on energy audit by simple means available. Such an energy audit is one of the most basic methods of the SPARE project. One can start by drawing up a plan for a house, class, apartment, etc. and indicating on it all appliances and devices that consume energy. With the help of information on devices and bills for electricity, heat and water, one can understand how much energy is used and ... wasted. Evgeny proposed a number of measures to reduce the consumption of various types of energy, and most of them do not require any financial effort, but only changes of one's habits.

Representatives of the Ecological Council of the University of Northern Federal District (Northern (Arctic) Federal University showed an interest in conducting such an energy audit at the university by students with the involvement of the administration, and would also like to develop a comprehensive climate plan for the university in the near future.

Discussion of the topic of climate plans at the forum concluded with a discussion on the integration of climate aspects in urban development plans. As it turns out, among architects and other participants in the development of town planning documents, there is often a lack of awareness of the importance of taking climate change into account. And the lack of measures to adapt to such changes increases the possible vulnerability of human settlements and means significant risks in almost all aspects of urban environment.

Thus, the creation of climate plans provides an opportunity to assess and reduce the potential risks from negative effects of climate change, as well as give a chance to find opportunities for savings and more efficient use of resources and energy. The main thing is not to waste the time and use all the opportunities that are at hand.