HSE University Scholars Study Green Transition Risks and Greenhouse Gas Emission Regulation
The UN Climate Change Conference is taking place from October 31 to November 12 in Glasgow. The conference focuses on preventive measures against the catastrophic and irreversible consequences of rising average global air temperatures. Igor Makarov, Head of the HSE Laboratory for Economics of Climate Change, will be taking part in the Glasgow conference. In the following interview, he speaks about the pressing problems Russia and the world are facing, and the research HSE scholars are doing on climate change.
Igor Makarov, Head of the School of World Economy, Head of the Laboratory for Economics of Climate Change
There are essentially two types of global climate change issues that are particularly relevant to Russia. The first includes physical risks from climate change associated with the melting of permafrost, more frequent natural disasters, forest fires, aggravated water stress in southern regions, etc.
The second involves the transition risks associated with the green transformation of the global economy. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions requires phasing out fossil fuels, which remain one of the key industries of the Russian economy. The question is how the Russian economy will adapt to the new reality. There is also the issue of introducing regulation on greenhouse gas emissions in Russia and starting to reduce them without negatively affecting economic growth and the social sphere.
Research Focus at HSE University
In our research, we are mostly focusing on the transition risks. In particular, we are now preparing a joint report with the World Bank on how global decarbonization and more specifically the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism to be introduced in the EU in 2023 will affect the Russian economy.
We are also working on issues related to emission regulation. For instance, as part of this year's applied project, we are providing analytical support for a pilot project to regulate emissions in the Sakhalin Region.
One of the most important questions we are trying to answer is how to account for the specifics of the Russian economy (in particular, its high dependence on fossil fuels) when designing carbon regulation
At the same time, we are studying physical risks as well. For example, we analyze the impact of climate change on forest fires, taking into account the socio-economic specifics of Russian regions. Last year, we did a project for the Presidential Administration to analyze the measures taken by the Krasnodar Territory and the Chechen Republic to respond to natural disasters.
Some years ago, we have conducted joint research with MIT on the risks to Russian energy exports under different global climate policy development scenarios. We collaborate with various European think tanks on the implementation of the EU Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism and carry out joint projects with the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs and the German Historical Institute. We have also partnered with the World Bank.
Just recently, we have hosted Professor Anatol Lieven, a British political scientist, writer, journalist, historian, and professor at Georgetown University, USA, who delivered a lecture entitled ‘Climate Change and Nation State: What is Nationalism in a New Era’ based on his new book Climate Change and the Nation State.
In the coming year, we will work on analytical support for development of carbon regulation in Russia. After the President of the Russian Federation announced the goal of ensuring carbon neutrality by 2060, it became clear that carbon pricing in Russia is bound to be introduced in the near future. However, this should be done carefully, without blindly copying foreign experience. There are many aspects that require calculation and consideration. This is what we will be studying.
In addition, starting next year, our Laboratory will launch a Master's programme in Environmental Economics and Sustainable Development. We will train professionals for ourselves, and most importantly, for Russian companies and government bodies that need competent people who understand current green trends and can work in the field of low-carbon development.
The decision to create the laboratory was based on the results of an open competition organised by HSE University. The winner of the competition was the project ‘The role of non-coding RNA in facilitating active ageing’ led by Maxim Shkurnikov, Associate Professor of the HSE University Faculty of Biology and Biotechnology.
On November 9, 2021, HSE University signed a memorandum of understanding with Wageningen University & Research, a major university in the Netherlands and one of the leading agricultural research institutes in the world. Participants of the signing ceremony included HSE University Rector Nikita Anisimov, President of the Wageningen University & Research Executive Board Professor Louise Fresco, and Dutch Ambassador to Russia Gilles Beschoor Plug.
The majority of Russians would not agree to being fitted with microchip implants for any purposes—medical or otherwise. A joint study conducted by HSE University’s International Laboratory for Applied Network Research and Aventica found that respondents believe the risks of personal data leaks and misuse to be too high.
The 10th International Moscow Finance Conference, organized by HSE ICEF, took place on October 29–30 online. Vladimir Sokolov, Head of the International Laboratory of Financial Economics, which hosted the conference, talks about the participants, the key presentation topics and how they will impact the global economy.
HSE University and Coursera are bringing together the world’s leading researchers, professionals, education and technology leaders, and business community representatives for the fourth international research conference eLearning Stakeholders and Researchers Summit 2021 (eSTARS). This topic of this year’s summit, which will run from December 1–2, 2021,is ‘Digital Transformation: Global Challenges to the Education System’.
On October 20–22, the second International Conference on Experience Economy: Museum, Event, and Tourism Management was held at HSE University in Perm. Key talks were delivered by Andrea Rurale, the director of the Master’s in Arts Management and Administration at the Bocconi University School of Management, and Guillaume Tiberghien, University of Glasgow.
In October, a two-day seminar entitled ‘Ageing and frailty in Norway and Russia’ was held by HSE University’s International Laboratory for Population and Health. In addition to purely demographic results concerning the changing age structure of the population and growing life expectancy, most presentations were devoted to the comparative assessment of physical and cognitive status among elderly people, cardiovascular aging, as well as social and medical support for the elderly. We spoke with the organizers and participants of the seminar about their research findings and the implications for society and public health.
What are the outcomes of growing inequality? How much inequality is there in Russian healthcare and education? What does Russian society think about inequality? (Spoiler: that it’s excessively high and unfair.) These questions and many others were discussed by Russian and French researchers at the conference ‘Socio-economic Inequality and Poverty in the Modern World: Measures, Dynamics, and Prospects in an Age of Uncertainty’.
This year’s field season is over, and despite the difficulties caused by the pandemic, archaeologists from the Centre of Classical and Oriental Archaeology at the Institute for Oriental and Classical Studies (IOCS) were able to undertake their scheduled expeditions to Italy, Turkey, and Abkhazia. The Centre is the only Russian institution that conducts regular archaeological research in the Mediterranean region—the heart of ancient civilization, where neither Soviet nor Russian classical archaeologists have ever worked before.
The conference on Philosophy and Culture in Time of Pandemics ran from September 30 to 2 October 2021. It was divided into seven sessions held in a hybrid format. The organizers and participants discussed major topics such as social transformation during the pandemic, the role of mass media in shaping perceptions of the pandemic, and the epistemological and ethical issues that have arisen as a result.