Will it work for or against the Russian economy?
Since 2023 the mechanism of cross-border carbon regulation (Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism — CBAM) or simply carbon tax on the goods imported by the EU will start operating in the European Union. It is supposed that initially it will extend only on suppliers of metals (iron, steel, and aluminum), cement, electric power and fertilizers. Thus it is planned that real payments of this tax will start only in 2026. Then annual 10 percent reduction of free quotas of emissions of CO2 which delivery has to stop completely by 2035 will also begin. It is obvious that the list of branches to which SBAM will be applied, will gradually expand. Sooner or later producers and suppliers of hydrocarbons will be surely included in it. Russia, which is one of the largest exporters of power raw materials to Europe, should actively prepare for it already now.

Introduction of SBAM in the European Union is carried out within a so-called European green course (The European Green Deal) which assumes that by 2050 the EU will become completely «carbon neutral». This strategy is directed on reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases which, it agrees the concept, taken into service by the European Union, destroy ecology of our planet. And the main source of their issue is no other than human activity. Respectively, the mankind has to make quickly all possible efforts as much as possible to reduce anthropogenic influence on environment. If to consider this concept from the point of view of objective science, it is very disputable. But even if to accept it as dogma, the picture turns out as follows.

Key «pollutants»

For the first time for the last decade in 2020 the world volume of emissions of carbon dioxide decreased, according to data of BP of Statistical Review of World Energy, to a little more than 32,284 billion tons of CO2 or on 6%. However, it is easy to guess that the key role in it was played by not so purposeful and consecutive realization of «green» strategy and the powerful global economic recession substantially connected with the burst of corona crisis in the world. Respectively, on indicators of reduction of issue it is possible to estimate not the real progress of the concrete countries in fight for improvement of an ecological situation but the level of influence of negative global economic tendencies on these states. Nevertheless even in this situation the statistics demonstrates the real situation with emissions of carbon dioxide in the world and allows to draw adequate conclusions on to whom exactly it is necessary to pay most of all attention within the «green» agenda, managed by the European Union and whom to induce to active actions for implementation of ecological programs.
So, in 2020, as well as during the whole last decade, the largest «pollutant» of our planet traditionally was a Pacific Rim (PR) to which share accounted for 52% of all emissions of carbon dioxide in the world or 16,778 billion tons of CO2. Of course, the countries of the region last year lowered a total indicator of issue — on 2,7% a little. The greatest contribution in it was brought, in particular, by Hong Kong, New Zealand, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. At the same time China, on the contrary, increased the volume of emissions, though not much more: a little more than for 0.9%. 59% of the general share of emission of carbon dioxide in ATR and 30,7% of all world emissions — over 9,899 billion tons of CO2 are a share of the People’s Republic of China. Other Asian leaders of environmental pollution look quite modestly against China.

The second place in the region on issue of CO2 is taken by India. Its emissions of carbon dioxide last year made only 7,1% in the world rating or a little more than 2,302 billion tons. In comparison with China such an indicator can really seem quite modest, however it is necessary to consider that it is much higher than emissions of all Middle East (6,5%), the CIS countries (6,3%), the whole continent Africa (3.9%) and also the South and Central America taken together (3,6%).
Not the last role on issue of CO2 in ATR is still played by Japan. It is enough to tell that this rather small state occupies quite worthy place among global «pollutants» – 3,2% or 1,027 billion tons. Judge, if it is essential to the «green» agenda. It is also necessary to note that the greatest «carbon trace» in ATR continue to leave South Korea, Indonesia and Australia and total emissions of CO2 of these three countries make 4,7% of the world indicator.
The second place among the largest global «pollutants» of environment, and, by the way, is already traditional too, occupies North America, to which share in 2020 16,6% of the world emissions of carbon dioxide or over 5,348 billion tons of CO2 fell. And, as always, the permanent leader in issue volumes in the region is the USA — over 4.457 billion tons of CO2 or 13,8% in a global rating of emissions that says that the United States leaves the most noticeable «carbon trace» on our planet after China.
And at last, the honorable third place on emission of carbon dioxide last year was taken by the European region in which structure BP Statistical Review of World Energy, as usual, includes also Turkey, though 97% of this state is located in the territory of the Western Asia and only 3%  in Southern Europe. Totally European countries left in 2020 a «carbon trace» nearly 3,597 billion tons of CO2 that makes 11.1% of universal indicator. The greatest share of all European emissions (about 17%) accounted for Germany that is quite clear more than 10% — for Turkey, about 9% — for Great Britain, approximately on 8% — for Italy and Poland, 7% — for France, a little more than 6% — for Spain. In total emission of carbon dioxide of these seven countries made about 65% of all emissions of CO2 of the European region and 7,3% of the world indicator that, by the way, even slightly more than the «carbon trace» left last year by India.
Thus, nearly 80% of all volume of global emission of carbon dioxide is a share of ATR, North America and Europe today (taking into account Turkey). It is obvious that all other regions even together taken, including the South and Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the CIS, have no key value for cardinal decrease in the «carbon trace». Thus it is possible to note that the main «pollutants» of our planet already for a long time are China, the USA and also the key states of the European Union and Great Britain. In this regard at least it is very strange that someone in every way tries to shift all responsibility to others. Especially it concerns the EU and the United States.

Everything is learned in comparison    

Russia, being the world’s largest state across the territory which area almost twice exceeds China or the USA, four times the European Union and also more than five times India in 2020 did not make such a significant contribution to global emission of carbon dioxide – 1.,482 billion tons of CO2 or 4,6% of universal indicator. Besides it must be kept in mind that after disintegration of the USSR, which emissions of carbon dioxide reached 3.5 billion tons of CO2, in Russia a huge number of the industrial and agricultural enterprises stopped existence and not only powerful productions disappeared but also whole branches. Respectively, Russian «carbon trace» also sharply decreased even without realization of a large-scale «green» course. So, emission of carbon dioxide of Russia in 2020 was nearly 34% lower than the indicator of 1990 (2,234 billion tons of CO2).
It is interesting that the USA also reduced emissions of CO2 in relation to 1990 almost on 10.5%. However such a «noticeable success» to them managed to be achieved mainly because American companies simply brought a considerable part of the harmful productions out of the United States in the territory of so-called developing countries, including Asian. And it is not for ecological reasons, and first of all, as much as possible to cut expenses on labor. Therefore it is necessary to have it in a look when we speak about the «carbon trace» which is left by developed countries and, in particular, the USA, as the official statistics shows us, only an iceberg top. Without going into such details, it is possible to note that China increased emissions of CO2 in relation to 1990 approximately in 4,3 times, and India -almost in 3,8 times. At the same time the level of emission of carbon dioxide of Japan which positions itself as the main activist of the «green course” in ATR, remains practically at the level of the 1990s. Last year it was lower than the starting point of everything chosen by us only on 5,5% and it is taking into account the same global economic recession provoked by the corona crisis. And only last year this level was above the indicator of the 1990s almost on 3%.
It would be possible to claim that the greatest progress in business of further reduction of the «carbon trace» could achieve Europe under leadership of the European Union and especially Germany. If not to go into details, the official statistics will show the same. So, emissions of carbon dioxide of all European regions last year appeared below the indicator of the 1990s already on 34,2%. However there are also reefs here.
Such a reduction became possible not thanks to the «green» course and implementation of powerful ecological projects, and first of all, because of disintegration of the USSR and together with it all system of the bipolar world, including Council of economic mutual aid, the Warsaw pact and so on. As a result the European states entering so-called socialist camp, as well as the states, which adhered to neutrality, either absolutely disappeared from the political map of the world or were transformed to unrecognizability. But the main thing that happened to the majority of them was that they considerable or even completely lost their industrial and agricultural potential. Respectively, the «carbon trace», which they left, cardinally decreased. Now many of them were a part of the European Union others are on turn. But all of them were included in the general statistics of emissions of CO2 in the column «Europe», therefore it considerably improved in comparison with 1990.
However, the overall picture of «landscaping» of Europe is spoiled, for example, by Poland and France. The first does not wish to refuse flatly its energy potential, with might and main using the extracted coal for generation of the electric power which is considered the «dirtiest» of all nowadays existing fossil energy resources. The second one is not going to refuse development of nuclear power which is though «carbon neutral» that would have to suit the EU, but is for some reason blacklisted by all «green» of the world. Thus the «carbon trace» of France (251,1 million tons of CO2 in 2020), which NPPs provide it with electric power more than for 70%, is 2,4 times less than Germany (604,9 million tons of CO2). And even it is less than Poland (279,6 million tons). Though it should be noted that France (across the territory there is almost twice more than Germany) was not noticed in selfless following the «green» course and the renewables (R) without hydropower in this country remain the real exotic. The world leader in development and use of RES, as it is paradoxical, is none other than China.
As for Germany, its progress in business of large-scale «landscaping» of our planet is strongly exaggerated. Remaining the main European Union country, it did not become the world leader in realization of the «green» course. Though, it is necessary to pay it tribute, there is no equal country today to it in political and information support of so-called power transition. Statistically, last year emissions of carbon dioxide of Germany appeared less than in the 1990s, practically on 40%. But it was suppressed a fact that such a result could not be reached without reunion in the fall of 1990 of Germany and the GDR. At that time East Germany was one of the states of the socialist block which is the most developed in every respect in Europe, therefore also total emission of carbon dioxide of the integrated countries made more than 1 billion tons of CO2. However after reunion all production capacity of the GDR was gradually nullified. And here was the result: for the next decade emissions of carbon dioxide of the integrated territories were automatically reduced on 15,2% and in ten years — on 8,3% on the relation already to an indicator of 2000. Let’s remind that then there were no problem of urgent «power transition» neither in Europe nor on a global scale.
But we should not also forget that in September 2008 the world entered a sharp phase of financial crisis, the most serious since the Great depression in the USA of 1929-1933. And the following economic recession accounted for 2019-2020. It is obvious that natural reduction of CO2 production because of decrease in economic activity for the objective and subjective reasons can be attributed also to the results of purposeful realization of a certain «green» strategy. However, it is also clear that any climatic problems, global, even local, anybody and will never manage to solve this way. Therefore there is quite reasonable question: it’s about improvement of ecology of the planet or it is simply convenient occasion to start application of a new way to render political and even in more degrees economic pressure upon developing countries and states with a transitional economy?

What to do?

In this situation it would be extremely imprudent to enter the conflict with the developed countries acting as the main activists of global «landscaping» of our planet, challenging the concept of categorically harmful influence of mankind on the nature accepted by them, proving the case and appealing to not so serious influence, let’s say of Russia, on general level of global emissions of greenhouse gases. It is indicative that any of the states of the world has not gone yet for direct confrontation in this question with the same European Union. And it is understandably — opponents of the «green» course will be immediately ranked as the countries «with low standards of reduction of emissions of CO2″ with all ensuing consequences, including purposeful political and, the main thing, economic sanctions. And after all so called developed countries continue remaining a key sales market of production made in the world. Of course, it would be possible to reorient a part of export on the markets of developing countries and the states with a transitional economy, but it will hardly help to solve a problem, at least in foreseeable prospect.
Meanwhile competent connection to implementation of the global «green» agenda, in particular our country, can promote the solution of the problems actual directly for Russia, for example, to reduce torch burning by oil industry workers of the associated oil gas (AOG) to a minimum. It is not only will seriously reduce an indicator of emissions of carbon dioxide but also can bring a considerable economic benefit to our country. After all utilization (processing) of AOG will give not only additional volumes of methane but also a number of valuable components for petrochemical branch, such as ethane, propane, butane, a pentane, hexane and so on. Of course, it will not improve cardinally global ecological situation, but in the situation with emissions of greenhouse gases in Russia will precisely have noticeable positive impact.
So, if to refer to the world statistics of burning of AOG on torches, the first place in the world on this indicator, according to the same BP of Statistical Review of World Energy, is occupied by the countries of the Middle East — 42 billion cubic meters in 2020, they are followed by Africa – 29,2 billion and the states of the CIS – 28,9 billion. For comparison: in North America about 20.3 billion cubic meters of AOG (including 12,4 billion in the USA), in the South and Central America — 14 billion, in ATR – 12,4 billion (2.9 billion — in China), in all Europe — 2 billion are burned. In Russia on torches in 2020 burned down 25,1 billion cubic meters of associated oil gas. It is obvious that in our country efficiency of use of this valuable natural resource leaves much to be desired. Thus emissions of carbon dioxide due to full utilization of AOG in Russia can be reduced on 50,6 million tons of CO2 or nearly on 3,5% of the level of last year.
In addition, our country can reduce in addition emissions of greenhouse gases not only without prejudice to itself but also with noticeable economic and ecological benefit due to increase of power efficiency of the existing productions, competent organization of waste recycling, correct care of forestry (suppression and prevention of the fires), improvement of system of land use and so on. That is our country has objectively potential on decrease in issue of CO2 and besides it is considerable. It was necessary only to involve it, but first of all, in the interests of Russia but not the European Union or someone else.
Let’s hope that the scenarios of low-carbon development worked out in Russian ministries and departments will consider all features of our country and the available nuances. After all introduction of own system of payment for emissions of carbon dioxide «in their own interests» are able to allow Russia to avoid introduction of «double taxation» in the system of SBAM. However, it is already a question of laborious work and negotiations.