Arkhangelsk Region is taking the lead in the Barents environmental cooperation
Several events on climate and environment were held in Arkhangelsk during the last week. Launch of a new climate project was followed by the meeting on Barents environmental Hot Spots. In addition, Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO) held several meetings on prospective environment and energy projects with municipalities of the region, Energy Efficiency Center and other stakeholders.
International cooperation on regional climate strategies officially continued by launching a new project between the Arkhangelsk region in Russia, Norrbotten and Västerbotten in Sweden and Troms in Norway. The aim of the project is to develop Arkhangelsk regional inventory of the main sources of GHGs emissions, as well as to evaluate potential for emissions’ reduction and increase of GHGs absorption. The project is implemented by the “Environmental Investments Center” in close cooperation with the Arkhangelsk Regional Administration and County Government Administration of Norrbotten. Norrbotten has an extensive experience in collecting data on greenhouse gases emissions, being one of the first Swedish counties to prepare a regional strategy of low-carbon development, taking into account vulnerable natural areas and various economic sectors. Arkhangelsk companies, representing timber sector, pulp and paper industry, heat and power plants, Russian railway and other sectors, are encouraged to share data on their emissions and to introduce environmental improvements, which will lead to climate change mitigation. The project is funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Programme on Environment and Climate Cooperation, administered by NEFCO. News by the “Environmental Investments Center” and TASS (in Russian).
The climate event was followed by the meeting of the regional Hot Spots Exclusion Group, headed by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Timber Industry Complex. Owners of the Arkhangelsk environmental Hot Spots gathered to discuss current challenges, progress achieved and plans to work further on environmental issues. Three and a half out of ten initial Arkhangelsk Hot Spots - A4 Arkhangelsk Pulp and Paper Mill, A3-2 Severodvinsk Heat and Power Plant #2, A2 Arkhangelsk HPP and A10 Stock of obsolete pesticides - have been excluded from the Barents List within the recent years. Both the regional ministry and the Hot Spots owners aim at introducing new environmental technologies and obtaining new knowledge to eliminate remaining Hot Spots. News (in Russian) and Protocol (Eng/Rus).
Activities on the Barents Hot Spots are recognized on the national level. The role of the Barents cooperation in solving environmental problems in Russia was emphasised by the Minister of Natural Resources Sergey Donskoy in his recent interview to the RBK+ newspaper devoted to the achievements of the Russian Year of Ecology 2017.