Sadly I cannot find the report presented by the Russians at the Paris Climate Talks (also known as World Climate Change Conference 2015 [COP21]) but did find this reference to it in a Dec. 7, 2015 article in the New York Times,
One of the surprises of the Paris climate talks was the sudden interest by Russia in appearing as a player in the efforts to reel in greenhouse gases.
The second part occurred on Monday, when an event was added to the schedule of news briefings: “Russia Proposes a New Approach to Climate Change.”
And so Russia did, putting forth a plan — and a report — that in the end seemed largely geared toward promoting a government-funded business, run by a prominent politician.
The Russian Times (rt.com) published a Nov. 30, 2015 article detailing President Vladimir Putin’s address to the conference attendees,
“We have gone beyond the target fixed by the Kyoto Protocol for the period from 1991 to 2012. Russia not only prevented the growth of greenhouse gas emission, by also significantly reduced it,” Putin said.
“Nearly 40 billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalent weren’t released into the atmosphere. As a comparison, the total emissions of all countries in 2012 reached 46 billion tons.”
Russia is planning to keep progressing by bringing breakthrough technologies into practice, “including nanotechnology,” Putin continued saying the country is also open to exchange and share the findings.
Apart from that, Putin has also promised Russia will reduce its polluting emissions by 70 percent by 2030 as compared to base level in 1990.
A Dec. 8, 2015 article by Jasper Nikki De La Cruz for The Science Times provides more detail about the Russian report/proposal (Note: A link has been removed),
Russia proposes a “New Approach” when it comes to dealing with climate change. The proposal focuses on efforts to reduce emissions involving five materials: steel, cement, aluminum, plastic and paper. The proposal is not on the reduction of the production of these materials but rather making these materials lighter, stronger and more efficient. With this approach, nanotechnology is put into the spotlight as the primary technology in making this proposal possible in real-world applications.
Rusnano is a company that is dedicated to nanotechnology. They received $10B of funding from the Russian government. They are pegged to be the frontrunner in research and application of nanotechnology in the production of the mentioned materials.
“Carbon nanotubes have been shown to toughen aluminum, make plastics conductive, extend the life of lithium-ion batteries,” Anatoly B. Chubais, Rusnano founder, said. “So all that is true. Tangentially, that can then lower CO2 emissions, I suppose.”
James Tour, a scientist at Rice University, commented for the New York Times Dec. 7, 2015 article on this suggestion that greater use of carbon nanotubes could reduce emissions,
A report laying out the materials thesis rested heavily on contentions about the use of carbon nanotubes. For a moment that puzzled James M. Tour, a professor of chemistry and materials science at Rice University and an expert on nanomaterials, who was asked about the proposal.
“Carbon nanotubes have been shown to toughen aluminum, make plastics conductive, extend the life of lithium-ion batteries,” he said in an email. “So all that is true. Tangentially, that can then lower CO2 emissions, I suppose.”
But, he added, “All of the above was well known long before Rusnano came around.”
Reporters, too, were confused. When one asked whether the announcement was “a distraction from real action,” Mr. Chubais said the proposal was a means to the same end.
I don’t find the Russian proposal all that outlandish although the emphasis on carbon nanotubes seems a bit outsized (pun intended). In any event, there’s certainly a role for emerging technologies to play in the attempts to change our lifestyles and ameliorate climate change.