A socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of international conventions, congress, exhibitions, business, social and sporting, public, and cultural events.

The Roscongress Foundation is a socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of international conventions; exhibitions; and business, public, sporting, and cultural events. It was established in pursuance of a decision by the President of the Russian Federation.

The Foundation was established in 2007 with the aim of facilitating the development of Russia’s economic potential, promoting its national interests, and strengthening the country’s image. One of the roles of the Foundation is to comprehensively evaluate, analyse, and cover issues on the Russian and global economic agendas. It also offers administrative services, provides promotional support for business projects and attracting investment, and helps foster social entrepreneurship and charitable initiatives.

Each year, the Foundation’s events draw participants from 208 countries and territories, with more than 15,000 media representatives working on-site at Roscongress’ various venues. The Foundation benefits from analytical and professional expertise provided by 5000 people working in Russia and abroad. In addition, it works in close cooperation with 155 economic partners; industrialists’ and entrepreneurs’ unions; and financial, trade, and business associations from 75 countries worldwide.

The Roscongress Foundation has Telegram channels in Russian (t.me/Roscongress), English (t.me/RoscongressDirect), and Spanish (t.me/RoscongressEsp). Official website and Information and Analytical System of the Roscongress Foundation: roscongress.org.

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New Challenges for the Green Economy: Could the Crisis Delay the Inevitable?
4 June 2021
10:00—11:15
KEY CONCLUSIONS
Public awareness and understanding of the need to transition to a green economy is growing

The government’s general approach is to make a worthy contribution so that, in the end, Russia is and remains the ecological donor of the planet — Sergei Ivanov, Special Presidential Representative for Environmental Protection, Ecology and Transport.

[There has been] a very serious pivot in the worldview with the emergence of a new generation, including at the decision-making level in corporate life. And these people have a completely different set of values. They don’t want to work for companies that pollute the environment, and they are happy to deal with green economy issues […] The green transformation has every chance to become a driver of progress, but there are a lot of very controversial issues — Andrey Bugrov, Senior Vice President for Sustainable Development, Norilsk Nickel.

ISSUES
Insufficient government incentives and integration of sustainable development goals into the work of companies

Today, two characteristic features are seen as a barrier – demand, let’s call it, for more government incentives, 20% versus 3% in 2019, and demand for a transformation strategy. The absence of [such a strategy] is considered a barrier today by 15% of respondents versus 3% in 2019 […] The integration of sustainable development goals is one of those criteria that demonstrates how popular sustainable development, or ESG, is for Russian business today [...] A comparison with 2019 shows that these sustainable development goals are being integrated by 15% of respondents [according to research conducted as part of the KPMG and Effie Barometer of Sustainable Business Transformation], while in 2019 this indicator was 7%. This is good news, but nevertheless we are seeing that another 85% are not integrating these goals. So there is still room for growth — Oleg Goshchansky, Chairman, Managing Partner, KPMG in Russia and the CIS .

There are disagreements about nuclear power plants, hydroelectric power plants, incinerators, biodegradable materials, and so on. This is where we see the state and, if you will, interstate cooperation playing a role. We must determine a position and promote it in every possible way. There is no uniformity and ESG metrics [responsible investing, an approach to investing that seeks to include environmental, social, and corporate governance] differ among themselves and the ESG ratings of different agencies. Thus, the world realizes that there is a need for the unification of non-financial reporting standards, and almost everyone is talking about this — Andrey Bugrov, Senior Vice President for Sustainable Development, Norilsk Nickel.

The cross-border carbon regulation that Europe is going to introduce in the near future will naturally affect virtually all Russian export-oriented industries. The most important thing in this regard is that there should be a transparent mechanism based on detailed analytics because, if we take the aluminium industry, when it interacts with the European Commission, which regulates the industry, we still have not seen how this initiative will affect the manufacturing industry in Europe, i.e., our clients. It could be an issue of losses exceeding the expected benefits with these initiatives — Evgeniy Nikitin, Chief Executive Officer, RUSAL.

The problem of forest conservation

We have a lot of problems with forest conservation, recycling, and especially with reforestation. This is because Russia has virtually no industry today for the industrial preparation of seedlings to be planted and restore the felled forest — Sergei Ivanov, Special Presidential Representative for Environmental Protection, Ecology and Transport.

There is no unity in the calculations of forest climate projects and their effectiveness — Andrey Bugrov, Senior Vice President for Sustainable Development, Norilsk Nickel.

Of course, forests play a very important role. I’m glad to hear about the commitments that Russia has made, and how my Russian colleagues look not only at the forest industry, but also at the entire chain [from reforestation to the development of alternative wood materials] — Ville Skinnari, Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade of the Finland Republic.

SOLUTIONS
Develop and introduce effective technologies created by countries both independently and as part of international cooperation

Such issues as green financing and preferential taxation for green projects are important, of course, but they can’t help the green transition without technologies that truly work and allow for such a green revival […] According to the European Patent Office and the International Energy Agency, most of the technologies needed to ensure decarbonization worldwide by 2050 are either in the early stages of development or have not yet been developed. This means that international cooperation is needed here at the level of scientific and technical cooperation and regulators — Andrey Bugrov, Senior Vice President for Sustainable Development, Norilsk Nickel.

At present, a presidential decree has set up a scientific and technical platform that will be tasked with determining the exact figures for carbon dioxide emissions by individual industries and individual enterprises. The most important thing is to determine the overall Russian absorption capacity [...] The platform that I mentioned, its task is to determine exactly how much we throw away and how much we absorb, and, of course, in this regard, the opinion of science and scientists is of utmost importance — Sergei Ivanov, Special Presidential Representative for Environmental Protection, Ecology and Transport.

We should also pay attention to R&D. My colleagues in the Finnish government investing billions of euros in R&D, however we aren’t doing this alone, but together with companies, with the corporate sector of small and medium-sized enterprises, and with universities. Therefore, I would like to appeal to my Russian colleagues: let’s do this together! Let’s create an ecosystem that will focus on digitalization and a green transition because this will enable us to create sustainable growth — Ville Skinnari, Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade of the Finland Republic.

Develop a mechanism to calculate greenhouse gas emissions in the Russian Federation and introduce emission quotas

How can the state help? Of course, it needs to constructively interact with the global community and experts who promote certain methods for measuring and calculating emissions as well as introducing a legislative framework because, as it was already noted, there are already a lot of products in Russia that meet all environmental standards […] If the product is the best at the moment, it should not be subject to any additional duties or any additional taxes – this would be one of the incentives for enterprises to transition to a green economy. It is crucial to develop transparent mechanisms for calculating emissions in Russia, make laws for them, and introduce methods and quotas. We won’t be able to introduce cross-border regulation without quotas — Evgeniy Nikitin, Chief Executive Officer, RUSAL.

The government is developing several initiatives that will complement the environmental agenda, including the establishment of trade with green certificates [renewable energy certificates, a financial and regulatory instrument to implement a mechanism for placing quotas on renewable energy and supporting its development] so as not to buy them abroad, but in Russia. That means an e-commerce platform will be created — Andrei Klepach, Chief Economist, State Development Corporation VEB.RF .