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UNDP Releases Human Development Report for Russia

April 2010: The UN Development Programme (UNDP), in collaboration with the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation, has released the National Human Development Report in the Russian Federation on the energy sector and sustainable development. The report describes the correlation between climate change, the energy sector and human development.

It notes that both positive and negative effects of climate change require complex study, involving climate risk assessment and forecasting research on the potential impacts for the energy industry and other segments. The report indicates that the energy sector will be potentially among the hardest hit, as energy facilities in Siberia and the northern territories are vulnerable to thawing of permafrost, which covers two thirds of Russia's territory. The report notes that, in Russia, over 72% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are from the use of fossil fuels. Although Russia is a major player on the global energy market and a global energy donor, the country still has to find a balance between energy preparedness and environmental sustainability.

The report also notes that promoting an innovative evolution of the energy sector and raising the energy efficiency of the national economy represent a major challenge for Russia. The report emphasizes that discussions about energy sector development have tended to focus on production aspects, including transportation of fuel and power, industrial safety and environmental impacts, with limited consideration of the impact of the sector on Russia's human development. [The Report]