Investment Portal of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation

Environment a priority

Polar regions will implement a package of measures that will make harmful emissions a thing of the past

2 november 2022

A set of measures to reduce emissions in the Arctic zone has been approved. On 29 October, the relevant order was signed by Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin. The document lists 13 measures aimed at reducing air emissions and discharges into sea and river waters.

To make the air in the Arctic cleaner, boilers and combined heat and power plants in the high latitudes must reduce their use of coal and fuel oil and, after modernisation, switch to more environmentally friendly fuels—natural gas, biofuels, wood pellets and wood chips. All road, sea and river transport will also have to switch to natural gas.

The document pays particular attention to wastewater treatment plants. The Ministry of Construction and the authorities of the Arctic regions should develop programmes for their construction and modernisation. This work will follow two tracks. The first is the treatment of domestic sewage from settlements and the second is the reception and treatment of sewage from ships entering northern ports.

Other activities of the complex include working on proposals to increase fees for emissions of pollutants into the air and the waters of seas and rivers.

The approved set of measures is part of an integrated plan to implement the Unified Action Plan to Implement the Foundations of State Policy of the Russian Federation in the Arctic and the Strategy for Developing the Russian Arctic Zone and Ensuring National Security until 2035.

The programme of action developed is based on the realities of the Arctic regions. In the Murmansk Region, for example, the main polluter is the pipes of CHP, coal and oil-fired boilers. That is why the government has already decided to gasify the region by building a 1,367-km Volkhov–Murmansk gas pipeline. As a result, the Kola North will receive gas from the Unified Gas Supply System from the Leningrad Region.

Chukotka is relying on renewable energy sources to get rid of coal and fuel oil. This year, the Renewable Energy Development Association recognised Chukotka as the winner in the Wind Energy Leader category.

Yamal businesses are also investing heavily in reducing harmful emissions. Last year, the YNAA was the leader in terms of business spending on environmental protection and greening of production. The FinExpertiza audit and consulting network estimates that businesses in the region spent RUB 81.1 bn on environmental protection measures, of which RUB 60.6 bn were investments. Most of these funds have been invested in infrastructure to protect atmospheric air.

Global environmental programmes are complemented in the Arctic regions by a thousand small measures working for a common result. In Yamal, for example, three more Roadmaster vehicles were recently received. The Novy Urengoy fleet already includes 14 such vehicles that run on environmentally friendly NGVs. They will be put to work on road maintenance work, on which only environmentally friendly buses will run: some 90 gas-powered buses are already running on district routes.

The approved package of measures to reduce emissions in the Arctic zone will help to unite and systematise the efforts of the state, the Arctic regions and companies operating in the polar region, and thus really make the Arctic cleaner.

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