Sberbank prepares for dashing zero // A scenario of development in a world without CO2 was written for the Russian economy

Sberbank, one of the contenders for the creation of an exchange for trading CO2 quotas in the Russian Federation, proposes to more actively introduce carbon regulation and extend it to key industries. As a justification, it draws a grim scenario in which Russia will lose $ 4.4 trillion over the next 30 years due to the refusal of foreign buyers from domestic oil, gas and metals. To smooth the blow, it will take up to $ 1 trillion in investments in decarbonization, about half can be obtained through quotas trading, they hope at Sberbank. Analysts consider the bank’s assessments too pessimistic and warn against copying the European system in Russia.

Sberbank has prepared a forecast for the development of the Russian economy against the backdrop of a global transition to carbon-free energy sources. In the scenario of “zero” CO2 emissions, Russia’s revenues from the export of hydrocarbon goods in the aggregate over the next 30 years may decrease by 59% – to $ 3 trillion from the current $ 7.4 trillion, said the head of Sberbank German Gref on June 30 at the International Financial Congress. By 2050, the price of Urals oil will fall to $ 26 per barrel, the price of gas will halve, oil production in the Russian Federation will collapse threefold, and its exports will decrease by four to six times, he suggested. The federal budget of the Russian Federation will receive less than $ 97 billion already in 2035.

In this situation, the head of Sberbank proposes to increase investments in decarbonization of the Russian economy. The volume of investments by 2050 should range from $ 657 billion to $ 1 trillion. Sberbank has sent relevant forecasts and proposals to the Russian government.

One of the key sources of investment in decarbonization can be the proceeds from the sale of carbon units in the Russian Federation, the head of Sberbank believes.

“With the current carbon price of $ 62 per ton, approximately 46% of the national decarbonization program can be financed through payments on carbon units,” said German Gref. On June 30, on the world’s largest European exchange for trading EU ETS emissions quotas, a ton of CO2 cost € 56 (about $ 66).

There are 29 CO2 emission trading systems operating in the world. The regulator sets an upper ceiling on the allowable emissions for specific industries. If the company throws out less than the limit, then it can sell free volumes (quotas). They are bought by those who do not fit into the limit.

In Russia, a carbon trading system in a pilot mode may start working on Sakhalin in 2022. Sberbank is one of the contenders for the creation of a carbon quota system. “We had such an experience, we started this work within the framework of the Paris Agreement,” said German Gref in May. In addition, Sberbank has developed a blockchain platform for trading green certificates for the international organization I-REC. This development is likely to be used on the Russian platform of the Market Council (energy market regulator). The bank’s income from participation in the platform is likely to be generated by fees.

The total size of such a commission, if CO2 trade spreads to the entire Russian economy, can be quite significant. So, if we apply the CO2 price corridor, which is planned in the Sakhalin experiment (from 150 rubles to 2 thousand rubles per ton), then the total payments in the national emissions trading system will be from 100 billion rubles. up to 1.2 trillion rubles. a year, according to Vladimir Sklyar from VTB Capital.

At least a third of these costs will be incurred by thermal power generation, he notes.

And at the current price of CO2 for the EU ETS, the electric power industry, together with refining and petrochemicals, will have to pay $ 18 billion a year, estimates Sergei Yezhov, chief economist at Vygon Consulting.

The named figure of losses of $ 4.4 trillion is an estimate in the event of a stress scenario, but in less radical scenarios the losses will be much smaller, Sergei Yezhov believes. “This assessment is based on the baseline scenario with a favorable outlook for market development. If we take 2020 as a base, when all Russian oil and gas and coal exports amounted to $ 137 billion (or $ 4.1 trillion over 30 years), then, compared with such a base, losses will begin only after 2035, “the expert notes. In his opinion, in Russia it is impossible to copy the European system of quotas trading, because it was built taking into account local peculiarities and aimed at the growth of the economies of European countries. In his opinion, the decarbonization policy in the Russian Federation should also be carried out using Russia’s competitive advantages in the form of hydrocarbon resources and the absorbing capacity of forests.

Polina Smertina

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