Russia to Slash Green Energy Funding by 22%

Initially, the Economy Ministry had planned to cut funding for renewable energy by half while the Energy Ministry insisted on cutting it by one-third, Kommersant reported. Officials aim to keep rising electricity prices within inflation.

Russia plans to cut state funding for the green energy sector by nearly a quarter, or 22%, the Kommersant business daily reported Thursday.

The government’s budget for its 2025-2035 renewables program will be cut from 400 billion rubles ($5.4 billion) to 313 billion rubles ($4.3 billion), unnamed sources told Kommersant, citing a March 11 meeting between Deputy Prime Ministers Alexander Novak and Yury Borisov.

The new renewable energy program would also reportedly oblige producers to meet green energy export targets under the threat of fines as well as increase requirements for localizing production.

Renewables investors interviewed by Kommersant warned that the cuts could lead to shutdowns of facilities, leading to job losses and ultimately monopolizing Russia’s renewables market.

A representative for the Association for the Development of Renewable Energy also criticized the new export targets.

“Investing billions of dollars in the country’s economy for the sake of selling 25% of annual production on the local market is an inexplicable decision from an economic point of view,” the representative told Kommersant.

Russia to Fully Ban Single-Use Plastic Products By 2024

Russia plans to ban the use of disposable plastics by 2024, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Alexander Kozlov said Thursday.

Banned goods would include disposable plastic straws, plates, glasses, lids and appliances; coffee capsules; cotton swabs; opaque and colored PET (thermoplastic polyester) bottles; boxes and packs for tobacco products; blister packaging (except for medicines); egg cartons; and several types of bags.

“We’re proposing to introduce the ban gradually so production can be reorganized. In 2024, the ban should be final,” the state-run TASS news agency quoted Kozlov as saying on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok.

Kozlov said his ministry and the Industry and Trade Ministry are coordinating on the list of 28 disposable plastic products that would fall under the ban.

He also suggested finding alternatives to single-use plastics such as packaging made from natural materials like wood or paper.

“We suggest replacing opaque plastic bottles with transparent ones that are easy to recycle. Disposable plates can be made from pulp cartons; straws can be made of wood or replaced with special paper ones. All these technologies exist and are already being used,» Kozlov said.

In May, Deputy Prime Minister Viktoria Abramchenko said the government plans to impose a legislative ban on certain types of plastic products, including straws, cotton swabs and disposable tableware.

The planned ban comes as countries seek to take greater action to cut down on plastic pollution, much of which ends up in the world’s oceans. In 2019, 170 countries including Russia pledged to “significantly reduce” their use of single-use plastics by 2030.

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