The Domestic Politics of Global Climate Change

The Domestic Politics of Global Climate Change

Key Actors in International Climate Cooperation

New Horizons in Environmental Politics series

Edited by Guri Bang, Arild Underdal and Steinar Andresen

Why are some countries more willing and able than others to engage in climate change mitigation? The Domestic Politics of Global Climate Change compiles insights from experts in comparative politics and international relations to describe and explain climate policy trajectories of seven key actors: Brazil, China, the European Union, India, Japan, Russia, and the United States. Using a common conceptual framework, the authors find that ambitious climate policy change is limited by stable material parameters and that governmental supply of mitigation policies meet (or even exceed) societal demand in most cases. Given the important roles that the seven actors play in addressing global climate change, the book’s in-depth comparative analysis will help readers assess the prospects for a new and more effective international climate agreement for 2020 and beyond.

Chapter 7: Russia’s climate policy

Anna Korppoo

Subjects: environment, climate change, environmental politics and policy, politics and public policy, environmental politics and policy, international politics


The prospects for significant policy change towards decarbonization are low in Russia due to the lack of environmental concern, in particular over the impacts of climate change, the interpretation of the post-Soviet emission decline as a climate effort, and the dominance of the economically vital fossil fuel sector. The main emission reductions are likely to originate from cutting energy waste and modernization rather than focused mitigation policies. However, the abundance of domestic fossil fuels, the unfavourable investment climate and the weakness of the policy implementation system obstruct these policies. Nevertheless, Russia’s domestic goal to limit GHG emissions to 75 per cent of the 1990 level by 2020, which never deviated much from the business-as-usual emissions trend, is likely to be achieved more easily than expected due to the current negative economic prospects. Even though the political conflict with Ukraine has destabilized President Putin’s power, and an overthrow of the Putin regime seems less unrealistic than a year ago, climate policy is unlikely to change due to the lack of public demand for stronger measures. At the international level Russia is likely to wait and see how other major emitters will play their cards in Paris in 2015 before deciding on its participation in a new climate agreement.

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