On March 16, 2021, at the site of the Russian Ministry of Economic Development, representatives of VEB.RF (state development corporation), the Bank of Russia (Russian Central Bank), the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Ministry of Energy, and representatives of banking and business community discussed the draft national Taxonomy of green projects prepared by VEB.RF.
The document was developed taking into account the EU taxonomy for sustainable activities and providing for the Russian economy features. The main goal of the document is to stimulate "green" activities and projects aimed at combating climate change and increasing the efficiency of natural resources exploitation.
Russian Minister of Economic Development Maxim Reshetnikov said that the list of areas in which green projects can be implemented has been expanded based on the practices of other countries, and a unique national classification was created.
The list of green activities of the Russian Taxonomy also includes nuclear power, which generates no direct CO2 emissions putting it on a par with renewable sources.
Projects in ecotourism, hydrogen and gas engine transport, forest-climatic and agricultural projects, transport infrastructure projects, as well as projects that reduce carbon dioxide emissions are now also considered green in Russia.
“These areas are recognized as ‘green’ in other countries - in fact, we have adapted global standards to the Russian context. The decision will increase the level of confidence in the system on the part of foreign investors since the mechanism of green bonds has already been developed and remains in demand abroad,” Reshetnikov said.
First Deputy Director General for Corporate Development and International Business of ROSATOM Kirill Komarov highlighted that nuclear industry had the highest international safety standards, and ROSATOM adhered to the unconditional principle of Do no significant harm.
The meeting also discussed the revised taxonomies of projects, requirements for project verifiers, a model verification methodology and guidelines governing the process of obtaining a green and transitional status by a financial instrument.
Seven of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals deal with environmental protection. One of the instruments of protecting the environment is green finance (investments tied to sustainable development metrics). Today, this financial instrument is at the initial development stage in Russia. However, the 2019-2021 Russian financial market development roadmap provides for attracting investors focused on financing sustainable development projects.