On Thursday, February 3, a round table was held in Moscow on the topic “The Climate Agenda: The Roleof Technology in the Development of Communications”. The event was initiated by the communication agency “GlavSovetnik” and the Association of Managers of Russia.

A study by the Institute of Strategic Communications and Social Projects (Instratcom) was presented at the round table. The authors of the work carried out monitoring of the global and Russian information field on the topics of climate and sustainable development and identified the main trends within these topics in 2022.

“Russian companies are currently operating within the framework of the “green” agenda, but there is still no unified state climate strategy,” said Alexander Pisarevsky, commercial director of the“GlavSovetnik” Communication Agency.

“In Western countries, in order to shape the agenda in society, there are societies and alliances that deal with climate issues. Thus, there are 154 such organizations in the USA, 117 in the European Union, and there are only three of them in Russia at the moment. There are certain advances in the framework of climate regulation in our country, but there is no speed that domestic business could achieve within the framework of legislative regulation yet,” said Alexander Pisarevskiy.

“The analysis of the severity of the climate agenda in the information space of Russia and Western countries showed that it appears most often in the United States, in second place – the EU countries, inthird – Great Britain,” said Ekaterina Kovarina, Deputy General Director of Instratcom.

“Regarding climate issues, the leading country in terms of the number of mentions in the media is the United States, the UK is in second place, Russia ranks ninth along with the Netherlands. We believe that we have great potential for growth – Russia can be a trendsetter on the climate agenda,” said Ekaterina Kovarina.

According to the Instratcom study, the positive trend is already gaining momentum – for example, in 2021 Russia increased the density of publications on the topics of climate, carbon footprint and sustainable development by 2.5 times. Only the United States demonstrated a similar positive dynamic over the past year.

“At the same time, in terms of platforms that broadcast information, social networks and instant messengers are almost equal to traditional media,” said the deputy general director of Instratcom. Over 40% of the climate agenda comes from the media, but social networks and instant messengers account for 38% of published materials. “This indicates that people are involved in the discussion of issues, they are interested in these topics,” Kovarina emphasized.

During the round table, experts also noted the lack of awareness among the general population. “Now discussions about issues in the field of climate and ESG are rather elitist, only populist isolated topics reach the general population,” said Irina Bakhtina, Director of Sustainable Development at the UC“RUSAL”.

“For example, respected journalists sometimes “swim around” in the technological aspects of the sustainable development agenda. The entire invoice can be downloaded, analyzed and asked the right questions – but unfortunately, this does not happen, despite the fact that the industry has already accumulated 15 years of data. In order for the state to better understand how to support us in this matter, data is important: their collection, processing, analysis and modeling so that we think about new solutions together and move forward together,” said Irina Bakhtina.

Meanwhile, Russians are ready not only to receive information about the climate in Russia, but also totake concrete steps to improve it, said Maria Derunova, First Deputy Head of the Office of the Deputy Mayor of Moscow for Economic Policy and Property and Land Relations.

“Moscow has become the sixth world city to issue green bonds. Despite the traditional skepticism of Russians towards such financial instruments, we saw a huge interest in these bonds. Although our“green” issue was intended primarily for professional investors, securities in the amount of 700 million rubles were bought by individuals,” Maria Derunova specified.

“Public attention was also attracted by the implementation of the national project “Ecology”,” said Alexander Zakondyrin, Chairman of the Public Council of the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation and the Committee for Nature Management and Ecology of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation, during the round table.

“Now we are preparing the report on the public assessment of the “Ecology” national project, there are already results and positive undertakings following the outcome of three years of its implementation.One of the conclusions is that there are no projects related to climate within the framework of this national project, although there is a project related to reforestation. The task of public organizations isto provide expert assistance to executive authorities, help in updating passports and targets for national projects, and also take into account the opinions of Russians in the implementation of environmental initiatives,” said Alexander Zakondyrin.

“We produce state-of-the-art equipment with minimal environmental impact. In general, rail transport is the most environmentally friendly in the world. Compared to road and air transport, the difference in green house gas emissions and environmental impact is dozens of times,” says Pavel Morozov, director of Transmashholding (TMH) for Industrial Safety and Sustainable Development. “Looking forward, we are working on a hydrogen fuel cell train and locomotives using hybrid engines. The main products ofthe twenty-twenty-two are shunting locomotives, a TEM23 diesel locomotive and an electric locomotive using EMKA-2 batteries. These are models that can be used already this year on our railways.”

Vadim Kovalev, First Deputy Executive Director of the Association of Managers of Russia, noted the relevance of a stable intersectoral information dialogue in Russia.

“At the moment, even large companies have big climate and sustainability issues that they face on their daily agenda. However, now these problems are discussed mainly within the framework of one-time business events, round tables and forums. It is necessary to lay a systemic foundation for the communication process, and we hope that this round table will be the first of many Russian events on climate issues,” Vadim Kovalev summed up.

The event was also attended by representatives of business, media and public organizations: “Philip Morris Sales and Marketing” LLC, “EuroChem”, “Transmashholding” JSC, “Segezha Group” PJSC, Media Practice Center of the Institute of Communication Management of the National Research University.Expert opinions of representatives of business, scientific and public institutions will complement themain conclusions of the study conducted by Instratcom.