Netherlands Institute of Government (NIG) Annual Work Conference location:Delft date:27-28 November 2014
Although Russia would be one of the first countries to be severely affected by climate change since it is located close to the melting ice-caps, Russia’s policies to combat climate change develop slowly. One of the long-term solutions in reducing greenhouse gas emissions would be to substitute fossil-fired energy blocks for renewable energy plants. Despite Russia’s vast green energy potential, the electricity generation capacity on the basis of renewable energy sources remains underdeveloped. Russia’s decision not to take on new reduction targets under Kyoto’s 2nd commitment period (Kyoto-2) at COP 17 in Durban (2011) raises questions about EU effectiveness in ‘pulling in’ countries to climate change commitments. EU effectiveness is difficult to measure, and is often operationalised by internal variables, such as an increased actorness, the EU’s negotiation strategy or a flexible mandate of EU representatives (Van Schaik, 2013). However, EU effectiveness in the international arena is not only contingent on its own resources and strategies. In a multipolar world, the EU has to take into account a complex of interests and perceptions that influence EU’s effectiveness from the outside-in (Smeets, Adriaensen, & Reykers, 2013). Especially in foreign climate change policy, the EU attempts to lead by example in convincing other players, such as Russia, to reduce Green House Gas (GHG) emissions. This paper seeks to evaluate the EU’s effectiveness through Russia’s green energy policy. By identifying domestic challenges Russia faces in promoting RES, EU current policy action in convincing Russia to effectively reduce GHG emissions is scrutinized. Therefore, the paper first identifies the obstacles to promoting renewable energy in Russia, whereupon possible EU approaches to help overcome these hurdles are suggested.