Seminar at the Ministry of economic development on the implementation of OECD environmental standards in Russia, 14 March 2019

On March 14, 2019, the Russia-OECD Center held a seminar at the Ministry of economic development on the implementation of OECD environmental standards in Russia. Antonina Levashenko, head of the Russia-OECD Center, as well as experts of the Russia - OECD Center Alexandra Koval and Maria Girich, were one of the participants at the seminar.

Antonina Levashenko noted that the statistical profile of Russia is filled only by a third, which does not allow the OECD, other international organizations, as well as individual countries, to obtain information on Russia for analysis and further cooperation. In addition, Antonina spoke about the existence of a number of analytical tools aimed at assessing Russia's place among other countries in the development of environmental policy. For example, in the Database on environmental Instruments (PINE) for Russia filled in data only on taxes. In addition, today Russia ranks last in the Index of environmental policy rigor among the OECD and BRICS countries. She Levashenko also presented a series of individual instruments of the OECD in the field of environmental policy, including best available technologies, extended producer responsibility, green investments and bonds, responsible business, green export credits, green taxes, the introduction of the Pollutant Release and Transfer Register, trade in emission quotas, etc.

Alexandra Koval discussed the green taxes question, advising the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of environment, the Ministry of industry and the MAYOR to consider the possibility of expanding the system of green taxes, with the introduction of environmental taxes (instead of collecting), the establishment of a system of deposits and refunds, special deductions and exemptions, environmental criteria affecting the determination of the tax base or tax base. Furthermore, Alexandra noted the necessity of introduction in Russia of the Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers. Such registers aim to effectively prevent and reduce pollution by examining the mechanisms for compiling and publishing data on emissions and transfers of pollutants. The absence of a Register in Russia effectively deprives the country of information on the level of emissions and makes it impossible to solve pollution problems associated with the activities of industrial facilities, as well as to improve emission control policies.

Girich Maria discussed in more details the issue of introducing a waste management hierarchy in Russia, which represents the ranking of waste management methods depending on environmental friendliness and resource efficiency. In Russia, a waste hierarchy is established by law, but such a hierarchy is rarely observed within the framework of the activities of state and regional waste management bodies, as well as regional operators. For example, in Amur in 2028, 10 new landfills will be built, in Chukotka – the construction of about 7 landfills by 2021. Thus, it often happens that in Russia, preference is given to the most dangerous methods of waste management such as a disposal, instead of to prevent and recycle waste. Maria also talked about the extended liability of producers schemes, noting that in Russia there is little use of mandatory schemes in contrast to other countries (China, UK, Australia).

The presentation is available here:

Translation by: Boryana Kiskinova