Russia’s cumulative carbon budgets for a global 2°C target. Carbon Management

TitleRussia’s cumulative carbon budgets for a global 2°C target. Carbon Management
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsSharmina, M, Larkin, A, Anderson, K
JournalCarbon Management
Keywords2 °C target, carbon budgets, Cumulative emissions, major emitters, Russia

Russia is the fifth highest emitter of carbon dioxide, having been in the top five for at least six decades. However, thus far no in-depth study has estimated Russia's cumulative emissions in the context of the global 2°C constraint. This is despite the IPCC reiterating the importance of cumulative emissions. Translating the global 2°C temperature commitment into a meaningful national context, this paper derives and evaluates 2°C-compatible carbon budgets for Russia, based on a range of apportionments. The work contributes to the debate by providing a deeper analysis of the principles of allocating carbon emissions to Russia. This analysis demonstrates how, if Russia is to make a fair contribution to global emission reductions in line with 2°C, its 2011–2100 cumulative emissions should stay within 20-26 Gt CO2, commensurate with a 37–52% probability of exceeding 2°C. If Russia continues to emit carbon dioxide at current annual levels, this budget will be “spent” by the mid-2020s. The carbon budget estimated here for Russia appears technically feasible, if extremely challenging. Despite continuing to assert itself as a fossil fuel superpower, Russia has a wealth of opportunities for full and early decarbonization, including the potential to become a net exporter of renewable energy.

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