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ORCID: 0000-0001-6568-8318
ResearcherID: C-8545-2014
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L. Gokhberg
Стеценко А. В.
Дорина А. Л. (assistant on administrative matters)
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Georgy Safonov

  • Georgy Safonov has been at HSE University since 2004.

Education and Degrees

  • 2001

    Candidate of Sciences* (PhD) in Economics and National Economy Management
    Lomonosov Moscow State University
    Thesis Title: Environmental and economic analysis of market-based mechanisms for greenhouse gas emission reduction in Russia

  • 1996

    HSE University

* Candidate of Sciences
According to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) 2011, Candidate of Sciences belongs to ISCED level 8 - "doctoral or equivalent", together with PhD, DPhil, D.Lit, D.Sc, LL.D, Doctorate or similar. Candidate of Sciences allows its holders to reach the level of the Associate Professor.

Continuing education / Professional retraining / Internships / Study abroad experience

July 2014 Global Environmental Facility (GEF): Evaluation of the GEF project portfolio, environmental legal framework assessment, progress to impact analysis, in-depth review of environmental projects in the key GEF focal areas (biodiversity, climate change, land degradation, ODS, POPs, international waters), creation and maintenance of the on-line stakeholder engagement platform, liaising with GEF agencies and partner organizations - UNEP, UNDP, UNIDO, WB, IFC, etc. (Moscow, Russia)

Jan 2014 International Energy Agency/UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN): The low carbon technological solutions for climate change mitigation and deep decarbonization pathways for major economies (Paris, France)

Sept 2012 USAID: Strengthening administration and organizational capacity of the organization, modern communication technologies, cloud organization, promotion of the organization through Internet, effective management decision making, developing and implementing fundraising activities (Moscow, Russia)

June 2002 US EPA: Health Risk Assessment and Environmental Management (Kiev, Ukraine)

April 2000 OECD/World Bank: Economic Valuation of Environmental Degradation and Benefits of Environmental Measures in the New Independent States (Moscow, Russia)

January 1999 University of California: Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Training Program (Riverside, USA)

April-June 1998 European Commission/Tinbergen Institute/Erasmus University: The environmental and natural resource economics research training program (The Netherlands)

October 1996 World Bank: The advanced training program for environmental economists (Moscow, Russia)

Professional interests

Environmental economics

Sustainable development

Low carbon development

Decarbonization of the economy

Health risk assessment and management

Environmental policy

Market based mechanisms for environmental management

Carbon market

Carbon pricing

Energy economics

Economy-energy-environment modeling

Honor achievements

The medal "For development of environmental education" honored in June 2016

Membership in scientific societies

International Society of Ecological Economics (ISEE)

Russian Society of Ecological Economics (RSEE)

Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (AERE)


Presentations and speeches at the international conferences and workshops

Role of forest bioeconomy in decarbonizationof Russian economy, Workshop at Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, 5 March 2020

COP25 Side Event: NDCs, the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals: Tracking progress and finding synergies, 11 декабря 2019, 12:30-14:00, EU Pavilion, Room Brussels, IFEMA Madrid;

Connecting SDGs, Long-term Strategies, Multilateralism and Global Leadership, 12 декабря 2019, 9:00-10:30, EU Pavilion, Room Helsinki, the side event of Joint Research Centre (JCR) of the European Commission and the National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation (NCSC) of China;

Moving from Commitment to Action: Combining Mitigation and Development Objectives, 13 декабря 2019, 11:30-13:00, UNFCCC, Room 5


- Exploring National and Global Actions to reduce Greenhouse gas Emissions (ENGAGE project), EU funded project, Horizon-2020 Program, 2019-2023 

Climate pOlicy assessment and Mitigation Modeling to Integrate national and global Transition pathways (COMMIT project), EU funded project, Europaid Program, 2018-2020 

- Linking Climate and Development Policies - Leveraging International Networks and Knowledge Sharing (CD-LINKS), EU funded project, Horizon 2020 Program, 2015-2019

Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP), UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network/ IDDRI, 2013-on


  • 2020

    Managing Forests in the 21st Century (Потсдам). Presentation: What is needed to reduce emissions to mitigate climate change and the potential contribution by the forest sector to deep decarbonization in Russia

  • Глобальные и локальные рынки нефти, газа и нефтепродуктов: объективный анализ, качественные прогнозы и новый взгляд на ценообразование (Москва). Presentation: Декарбонизация экономики: риски, возможности, перспективы
  • 2019

    25th Conference of the Parties to UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (Мадрид). Presentation: Deep decarbonization by 2050: Russia’s perspective

  • 25th Conference of the Parties to UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (Мадрид). Presentation: COMMIT: national mid-century pathways in the context of global mitigation scenarios

  • 25th Conference of the Parties to UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (Мадрид). Presentation: Building a bridge from current action to “two degrees”

Scientific research projects

2019 – now

ENGAGE project under the EU Horizon-2020 Program: Exploring National and Global Actions to reduce Greenhouse gas Emissions https://iiasa.ac.at/web/home/research/researchPrograms/Energy/Research/ENGAGE.html   To develop optimal climate policies to deliver on the Paris Agreement, a consortium of 25 international and multidisciplinary research groups are collaborating to co-produce knowledge for designing cost-effective, technologically sound, socially and politically feasible pathways that can meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement


Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung projects: 1) Green growth and innovation: regional development pathways in Central and Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia, and 2) Social consequences of climate change: Building climate friendly and resilient communities via transition from planned to market economies in Central and Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia, http://library.fes.de/pdf-files/id-moe/15863.pdf


Author of the educational courses “World energy transition and green strategies for business” (honored the HSE Prize for Best Educational Innovation in 2019) and “Economics of green innovation: from theory to practice”

2018 – now

COMMIT: Climate pOlicy assessment and Mitigation Modeling to Integrate national and global Transition pathways https://themasites.pbl.nl/commit/

The global stocktaking process of the Paris Agreement requires sufficient analytical capacity to ensure fair evaluation of country policies, and requires a good understanding of different outcomes and assumptions between the analytical teams that provide input into the negotiations. The COMMIT research project aims to contribute the analytical capacity to this process. Its intended contribution to the Talanoa Dialogue in 2018, preceding the official global stocktake starting in 2023, is to jointly develop insights by discussing analyses of national and global low-carbon pathways among project partners and with policymakers.


'Linking Climate and Development Policies - Leveraging International Networks and Knowledge Sharing — CD-LINKS', European Commission, Director of Russia project. The project covers G20 countries, analyzing the low carbon development pathways consistent with SDGs and national sustainable development targets. The policy options and instruments for mitigation and energy policies are considered based on the economic modeling tools in each partner country. The interlinkages of “green” energy policies and sustainable development goals (incl. poverty eradication, environmental quality improvement, affordable energy supplies, etc.) are the main focus of the research for 20 largest economies and on the global scale. http://www.cd-links.org/

2013 – now

Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP), UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network/ IDDRI, Russia Project Coordinator. DDPP produced the deep decarbonization scenarios for 16 largest countries: Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, UK, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, USA, Mexico. Development of the national deep decarbonization pathways consistent with the global target of 2°C, comparable, long term (to 2050 or beyond), multi-sector (energy, industry, transport, forest and agriculture, etc.), policy-driven, transparent. The Paris Agreement reflects some findings of DDPP, specifically regarding the low carbon development strategies by 2050. http://ddpinitiative.org/


UNDP: Development of the low carbon strategy for Kazakhstan by 2050 (application of TIMES-KZ model), analytical support of INDC development, presentation of findings at the Presidential Council for transition to green economy, consultations for government, business, NGOs



Development of deep decarbonization strategy for Kazakhstan. UNDP, Key international expert. Modeling and analysis of scenarios of long term development of national economy by 2030 and 2050, with specific focus on low carbon development in energy, industry, agriculture, forest sector, waste management in the fossil fuel rich country of Kazakhstan. Assessment of technological and economic potential for sustainable energy solutions, capacity for implementation of the Green Economy Development Strategy – 2050.




Decarbonisation of the economy and green energy development in the Northeast Asia countries, Economic Research Institute for Northeast Asia (ERINA), invited overseas researcher. The research project aims at analysis of the deep decarbonisation and sustainable energy development options by 2050 in the North-East Asia region (Mongolia, China, Russia, Japan, Korea), opportunities for cooperation in low carbon development, that would speed up the decarbonisation process and secure implementation of the UN SDGs.




International environmental agreements and sustainable development, Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), Key Expert. Analysis of the impacts of general and environmental international agreements on the national development policies, investment processes, sustainable development and inclusive growth




Sustainable growth, inclusive and climate resilient development, green energy, OXFAM, lead expert. Analysis of opportunities for inclusive sustainable development, green energy development, gender equality issues, international trade and cooperation, climate change vulnerability assessment, adaptation and mitigation policies, capacity building, civil society and SME engagement in BRICSAM countries



Clima East project, European Commission, expert on climate mitigation and adaptation policy in Russia and East Neighborhood Countries http://www.climaeast.eu/


Economic analysis of climate change impact on agriculture in Russia: national and regional aspects, OXFAM, Lead Expert. Economic evaluation of the impact of climate change on crop production at the national level and a long-term economic evaluation of the losses, profits, and risks for agriculture throughout Russia.


Sustainable development in Russia, Russian-German Bureau of Ecological Information,
Senior Expert. The project aimed at the review of sustainable development policy in Russia, with specific focus on energy sector, forestry, water use, environmental pollution and climate change impacts.


Russia’s post-2012 climate change policy: strengthening commitments and policy tools, UK Strategic Program Fund (SPF)/ Higher School of Economics, Project Director.  


Economic development and climate change, Danish Energy Agency/ WWF, Lead Expert

Analysis of economic development challenges with regard to climate change impacts, review of mitigation and adaptation policy options for Russia and international climate agreements.  


Analysis of human health risks from air pollution from energy and other sources in the regions of Russia and Ukraine, Environmental Defense / US EPA, Lead Expert

Analysis of health impacts of air pollution based on WHO health risk assessment methodology


Analysis of ancillary benefits of greenhouse gas emission reduction in Russia, Environmental Defense Fund, Expert

In-depth analysis of ancillary benefits of GHG emission reduction in Russia, specifically from reduction of air pollution by hazardous chemical compounds


Macroeconomic assessment of human health impacts of air pollution in Russia, Environmental Defense Fund, Expert

Economic valuation of health impacts on air pollution in the main urban areas of Russia

Employment history

2004 - now - HSE, Director, Center for Environmental and Natural Resource Economics 

1999-2003 - Center for Environmental Investments, senior specialist

1997-1998 - Eurasia Foundation, EERC Program, Administrator of scientific grants program

1996 - Institute of Transitional Economy (Gaidar's Institute)

Editorial board membership

  • 2020: Guest Editor, Eurasian Geography and Economics.

  • 2020: Guest Editor, Post-Communist Economies.

  • 2020: Guest Editor, Международные процессы (Mezhdunarodnye Protsessy).

Responsibilities and duties

Coordination of the following activities of the Center for Environmental and Natural Resource Economics:

expert and analytical support of the State governmental bodies on the environmental economics issues, including:

  1. expert support on environmental and climate change policy issues, state and municipal management in natural resource use;
  2. implementation of the analytical works upon requests from the State governmental bodies of Russian Federation.

scientific research in the following areas:

  1. applied scientific research on environmental economics issues;
  2. fundamental scientific research in environmental, climate and sustainably development issues.

The following duties:

  • organization of interaction with the State governmental bodies regarding the expert and analytical works;
  • expert review of the legislative acts and draft acts, as well as other official documents on relevant issues;
  • coordination of expert work upon request from the State governmental bodies;
  • coordination of the activities of the Center on implementation of the applied scientific research projects on environmental economics issues


Timetable for today

Full timetable

Russia's far east aims for unexpected climate target: net zero by 2025


Russlands Klimaschutz wider Willen

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Keine Bananen aus Sibirien! Klimawandel und Klimapolitik in Russland

Russia’s Coronavirus Recovery Plan Has No Space for Renewables

The Moscow Times

Peak Fossil Fuels Is Next Test for Russia’s Battered Economy


Russia Scraps Plans to Set Climate-Change Goals for Businesses


Ryssland lever av kol, gas och olja – och vill inte offra dem för att stoppa klimatförändringen

Case Study: Russia Deep Decarbonization

What’s holding Russia back from ratifying the Paris climate agreement?

Russland: Klimaschutz in kleinen Schritten

Der niedrige Ölpreis und die Sanktionen setzen Russlands Wirtschaft zu. Verschärfen dürfte sich die Lage des Ölexporteurs durch den weltweiten Boom der Ökoenergien, zeigen neue Studien. Dabei wächst durchaus das Bewusstsein, dass fürs Klima etwas getan werden muss. Doch Unternehmen rebellieren.

The Paris Climate Agreement: Challenges for Decarbonization in the World-Leading Economies

Changing Climate: What The Paris Accord Means For Russia

In December 2015, nearly 200 countries reached a historic agreement in Paris to limit greenhouse gas emissions in hopes of curbing global warming. Law360's Expert Analysis special series looks at the impact the agreement will have on policies in various regions and countries. Dr. George Safonov from Higher School of Economics (Russia) provides his view of Russia's climate policy.

For Russian Farmers, Climate Change Is Nyet So Great

Интервью с Георгием Сафоновым корреспонденту NPR о влиянии климатических изменений на экономику России

National Public Radio

Should Russia do more about climate change?

Russia's position at the UNFCCC COP21, leading to adoption of the Paris Climate Agreement, commented by experts from HSE and other think tanks.

Russia's Forests Overlooked in Climate Change Fight

Scientific American

More about the Paris Climate Agreement and What Does It Mean for Russia

On December 18, 2015, the conference dedicated to the outcomes of negotiations and prospects for Russia in connection with the new Paris Climate Agreement took place in Moscow with participation of HSE, WWF-Russia, Russian Social and Ecological Union (RSEU), Russian-German Bureau of Ecological Information.

Understanding Russia's approach to climate change and global warming

According to experts, climate change is occurring in Russia much faster than globally on average. This might potentially have a significant impact on the country’s energy sector. What is the Kremlin doing to address the issue? Find out in the new RD report.

Russia Direct

Russia moves on ‘emissions’

Russia is preparing the ground for future regulation of carbon emissions, amid calls to wean the economy off its heavy dependence on polluting fossil fuels.

Russia lays foundations for carbon regulation amid calls for action

The report on Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project, with participation of Russian research team from HSE and RANEPA, provided sound scientific arguments for the ambitious goals of leading countries in the Paris Climate Agreement, netogiated at the UNFCCC COP21 in Paris.


Parliament to Play Key Role in Reaching Climate Change Goals, Say Paris Climate Conference Participants

On October 12, 2015 the officials and experts from Kazakhstan and the EU discussed Kazakhstan’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) for the Paris Climate Change Conference and developed recommendations for the country on reaching its goals

Russia's forests overlooked in climate change fight

Russia's forests may lose their power to help curb global warming without stronger domestic protection and a place in a new global climate change deal, scientists have warned. George Safonov (HSE) and Alexey Kokorin (WWF Russia) provided their views to Reuters.


DDPP Presents at COP20 in Lima

On December 10, the SDSN along with partners World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD), International Energy Agency (IEA) and French Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI), organized a side-event on its Low-Carbon Technology Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) initiative. George Safonov from HSE made one of the key presentations at this event.

COP 20 Event Reviews Russian Climate Policies, Progress and Prospects

Organized by the Russian Federation and Center for Environmental Innovation, the event titled 'Goals and Objectives of the Russian Climate Policy up to 2020 and Prospects for 2030' described the country's goals to: achieve low-carbon sustainable development; implement environmental management systems and ecologically effective technologies; and develop the recycling industry. The event convened on the sidelines of the Lima UNFCCC Climate Change Conference (COP20).

Russia’s top cities wake up to need for climate change adaptation

The Russian largest cities Moscow and St.Peteresburg launched the initiatives on adaptation to climate change. Dr. Safonov from HSE and other experts agree it is time to act now. 


Russia’s silence on climate change helps no one

Russia's perspectives on the climate change negotiations under UNFCCC at the climate summit in Warsaw. With the economic analysis from George Safonov (HSE)

Nachhaltige Entwicklung in Russland

Global commons, domestic decisions: the comparative politics of climate change

Climate change represents a “tragedy of the commons” on a global scale, requiring the cooperation of nations that do not necessarily put the Earth’s well-being above their own national interests. And yet international efforts to address global warming have met with some success; the Kyoto Protocol, in which industrialized countries committed to reducing their collective emissions, took effect in 2005 (although without the participation of the United States). Reversing the lens used by previous scholarship on the topic,  Global Commons, Domestic Decisions  explains international action on climate change from the perspective of countries’ domestic politics. In an effort to understand both what progress has been made and why it has been so limited, experts in comparative politics look at the experience of seven jurisdictions in deciding whether or not to ratify the Kyoto Protocol and to pursue national climate change mitigation policies. By analyzing the domestic politics and international positions of the United States, Australia, Russia, China, the European Union, Japan, and Canada, the authors demonstrate clearly that decisions about global policies are often made locally, in the context of electoral and political incentives, the normative commitments of policymakers, and domestic political institutions. Using a common analytical framework throughout, the book offers a unique comparison of the domestic political forces within each nation that affect climate change policy and provides insights into why some countries have been able to adopt innovative and aggressive positions on climate change both domestically and internationally.

Climate Control

How countries respond to weather change

Different Perspectives and Different People in HSE’s ‘Semester in Moscow’ Programme

Adrian Murillo Ramirez-Moreno is from Mexico City and is currently a third-year student at Universidad Anáhuac México where he studies International Relations. Nicholas Viggiano, from New Jersey, USA, is a third-year student at the University of Maryland, where he is pursuing a double degree in Russian and Environmental Science. Both are studying in HSE’s ‘Semester in Moscow’ Programme. The programme not only allows students to study Russian language at any level, but to design their own curriculum—students have their pick of any English-taught courses they choose, regardless of field. Students are accommodated in the HSE dormitories and receive an official transcript upon completion of the semester.

Solving Climate Problems Is Not That Expensive And Even Profitable

Fighting climate change requires close international cooperation, but global politics and short-term economic interests still hinder the execution of a joint plan of action. How can this be overcome? Participants of HSE’s international conference ‘The New Economics of Climate: Prospects for Russia’ tried to answer this question.

1.6 С

is the average temperature increase every ten years since 1976 in Russia’s environmentally vulnerable regions.


is the year that glaciers may disappear from the earth if the average air temperature in the high mountain ranges rises by 8 degrees Celsius and precipitation levels fall by 16%.