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Time for Russia to tap renewables

Russia's big territory and coastline are potentially huge sources of renewable energy from sun, wind, waves, tides and currents, but about 91% of the country's energy still comes from fossil fuels. This must be urgently rectified if Russia is to honour its pledge, made ahead of this month's climate summit in Paris, to reduce its carbon emissions by 25–30% relative to 1990 levels by 2030.

Russia's carbon emissions have been increasing since 1998. Only 3.2% of its total primary energy supply came from renewables in 2013 (nuclear accounts for the rest; see This compares poorly with industrial nations such as Brazil (40%), Sweden (35.7%), India (26.4%), Canada (18.6%) China (11%) and the United States (6.8%).

Russian environmental legislation is taking small, ongoing steps to protect its natural resources, clean up polluted areas, control air and water quality and advance green industrial technologies. Environmental penalties for pollution and illegal use of natural resources have increased sharply. More investment in renewable energy will help to protect Russia's natural environment.

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Correspondence to Alexander Gorobets.

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Gorobets, A. Time for Russia to tap renewables. Nature 527, 305 (2015).

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