Best municipal practices on climate adaptation and role of civil society organizations was discussed at St.Petersburg International Economic Forum

On the 26th of May, the Round table “Best municipal practices of climate adaptation and role of civil society organizations” within the Forum became the platform to discuss the best practices of climate adaptation in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Helsinki, view of Ministry of Nature Use to international climate cooperation, approaches of Russian and British scientists to assess the climate change consequences and adaptation challenge, priorities of Coalition for protection of climate and clean air at UNEP, and experience of Russian Social-Ecological Union (RSEU) in supporting of local climate actions.

Civil society organizations (CSO) support for climate actions has a long history, RSEU experts more than 15 years are working on raising public awareness on climate, low carbon solutions, participate as a observers in the annual climate conference under the UN climate change convention promote local energy solutions to reduce human impact to climate. RSEU provides information and methodic support on energy efficiency and renewables on the local level, develop climate and energy education for children and adults.

At the Round table Olga Senova, Head of RSEU Climate Secretariat, shared the experience of supporting school climate action plan as a model for separate organization, local communities ad municipalities. In 2018 within the all-Russian competition of school projects Energy and Environment” in 5 Federal okrugs of RF such pilot climate action plans were prepared. RSEU has developed a manual for design and implementation of school climate action plans and disseminated it among interested CSO activists and educators in regions of Russia

The International cooperation issue was in the focus of the Round table discussion. Mr. Nuritdin Inamov, the director of the Department of international cooperation of the Ministry of Nature Use and Ecology said that at the international BRICS meeting 15 May sustainable development and climate were the leading positions in the Agenda. And despite of US having left the Paris Agreement, the country also continues participation in the Conference of Parties within the UNFCCC, and low carbon trends stay as a priority for many US states and companies. Russian Ministry for Nature Use supports climate initiatives of the Russian cities, so as thoughtful and weighted approaches to the partnership with countries and cities – especially in the field of practical actions. The time-unit for assessment of climate changes is 100 years, therefore activities in this sphere should be incessant and aimed at long-term results.

Mr. Anton Kulbachevskij, the Head of Department of Nature Use and Environmental Protection of Moscow Government said that Moscow joined the international climate alliance of the cities C40, which includes now not 40 but more than 100 cities. Moscow has an ambition to be a climate drivers, in 2017 organized an international Climate Forum of the Cities, develop energy efficiency programs, public transport, other low-carbon solutions.

Mr. Igor Grigoryev, the Head of Committee of Nature Use and Environmental Protection of St. Petersburg Government spoke about measures to reduce the green house gas emissions in the city, first of all, about the transfer of the heating boilers to gas (88% heating boilers SPb now use gas, 10 % use coal and less that 2 % use oil), and new project to transfer public transport from gasoline to gas. Ivan Serebritskij, the Vice-Head of this Committee presented information on climate change consequences for St.Petersurg and adaptation actions of city Government including measures to prevent coastal destruction, new projects to improve storm water management and prevention of flooding, and many other measures of City infrastructure climate adaptation integrated into the city Strategy for Social-Economic Development.

At the round table where also presented reports of:

  • Stephan Harison, Climate Change Risk Management, Exeter University “The Challenges and Prospects of Climate Adaptation,
  • Vladimir Katson Main Geophysical Observatory. “Science  as a key basis for climate adaptation”; 
  • Helena Malin, Breathe Life Program, leader of Coalition of Clean Air and Climate at UNEP, “Way to Improve Air Quality and Climate - Many Advantaches”;
  • Dmitry Frank-Kamenetskij, the Professional Secretary of HELCOM. Regional HECOM Climate Adaptation Policy”.
  • Rashid Ismailov, the Head of working group on ecology at the RF Government Expert Council. “Green Standards as an Effective Instrument for Climate Adaptation”
  • Eugenia Semutnikova, Deputy director of the Department of nature use of Moscow Governmen. “Moscow Government actions to reduce negative impact of climate change to city infrastructure and citizens”
  • Karolina Pilli-Sihvola, Finnish Meteorological Institute. “Climate change consequences and adaptation in Helsinki”;
  • Ivan Serebritskij, Deputy Head of the Committee for nature use of SPb City Government. “Impact of Climate Change to St.Petersburg Environment and City Administration Actions for Climate Adaptation”
  • Artem Pavlovskij, Instuitute for Urban Plan of St.Petersburg. “Prognosis of Climate Change Consequences for St.Petersburg Urban Development”.
  • Olga Senova, Russian Social-Ecological Union. “Climate Actions on the Local Level, Experience of Public Organizations”.
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