National project without ecology: why the garbage topic has entered a bureaucratic deadlock

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National project without ecology: why the garbage topic has entered a bureaucratic deadlock
National project without ecology: why the garbage topic has entered a bureaucratic deadlock
24 May 2021, 09:43Economy
There has been no news about the national project "Ecology" for so long that you no longer know whether it is functioning or departed this life.

However, the low public activity of the project's reanimators does not at all mean the absence of a covert struggle for budget billions. All the details - in the material of Novye Izvestia.

Lyudmila Butuzova

With reference to the head of "Rostec" Sergei Chemezov, the media reported that the construction of five waste incineration plants could be stopped in the Moscow region and Kazan. Residents, who had been trying to cancel the incineration plant for several years, were undoubtedly pleased with this news. The regions where it was planned to build 25 more factories also recovered their spirits, linking the "surrender" of "Rostec" with changes in government policy on waste disposal.

The positions of the adherents of incineration were shaken even more seriously by two decrees of the government of the Russian Federation (in August 2020 and February 2021), which take out budgetary subsidies from the profits received by the incineration plant for the sale of energy generated from waste, as well as abolish regional incentives for income tax. According to Mr. Chemezov, the cancellation of state regulation “significantly” worsens the project's economy, makes it unprofitable and creates risks for obtaining loans for construction. A syndicate of banks "plans to suspend funding for the project", - Chemezov said in a letter to Prime Minister Mishustin. All this, plus the coronavirus pandemic, which has collapsed the delivery time of equipment by 8-12 months, disrupts plans to commission five incinerators and jeopardizes the construction of factories in the regions. Painting an eerie picture of a homeland mired in waste, Sergey Chemezov asks Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin to revoke two government decrees that endangered interests of his campaigns.

How are you doing in other areas?

In October last year, the Russian government announced a decision adjust all national projects, and in the Ecology project focus on solving urgent problems, cutting back on “secondary” environmental goals.

Let us remind you what the Ecology national project was before the amendments and how it was supposed to change. Ecology is 11 federal programs aimed at the development of Russia until 2024. It appeared after the President's decree on national goals in 2018 and was created to address urgent environmental problems. In particular, the main tasks of the federal program "Waste Utilization" are to eliminate illegal landfills by 2024, to increase the amount of waste sent for recycling to 36%. So far, this figure does not exceed 6-7%. What was envisaged in the new version of the national project? Firstly, its effect is extended until 2030, but with reduced environmental goals - the provision on clean drinking water, the elimination of unauthorized landfills, the preservation of biodiversity, and ecotourism have disappeared from the national project. National goals now summarize objectives and group environmental issues into three main blocks: waste, water and air.

The specifics - the new passport of the national project "Ecology" - was expected by the end of 2020, and largely depended on budgetary changes. Execution of the budget for the national project "Ecology", according to the Accounting Chamber, is extremely ineffective.

As of November 1, 2019 (at the time of the audit), it was 27.1% of the stipulated 56.909 billion rubles. At the same time, there was no mechanism for attracting extra-budgetary funds, without which the goals of the federal project can hardly be achieved. Looking closely at the duck limping on both legs, the Ministry of Finance proposed to reduce public spending on the environment for the entire planning period from 2021 to 2023.

It was very difficult to return the cut allocations, no matter how much the new curators of Ecology - Deputy Prime Minister Viktoria Abramchenko and the head of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Alexander Kozlov - tried to do so. The fact is that the logic that was applied to the cuts in Ecology's programs took into account not the priorities of environmental policy, but the availability of uncontracted budget funds - all the money that they had not managed to use was taken out of the national project. So, according to the project All budgetary allocations, according to which no agreements were concluded with the regions until February 15, 2020, went to the government reserve for "clean water". The federal project "Clean Air" suffered more than others as part of the national project, which lost more than 15 billion rubles - mostly these are funds that were not spent in 2019. As a result, in 2020 we have "Clean air" only 738.4 million rubles remained. In general, the Ministry of Finance found 22 billion rubles from Ecology, unspent in 2019 and not contracted for 2020. Accordingly, the budget of the national project, which was supposed to be 528.7 billion rubles, "lost" by 22 billion.

And that is not all. It was noted that within the national project, money was redistributed in a rather original way - for PR. Federal programs, most of which (such as ecotourism or biodiversity conservation) did not show signs of life, but at the same time actively spent budget funds on information and expert sociological support. The federal project “Integrated Waste Management System” also turned out to be literally “dirty” with propaganda, according to the expert, Professor of the RANE and the State Council Viktor Kostrikov.

“Hundreds of millions of rubles have been thrown into an empty talking shop”, - he told Novye Izvestia. - Finally supply normal sorting and processing complexes, as in St. Petersburg, introduce provisions on mandatory separation of waste, and it will be a hundred times more effective than any PR. In just six months, Peter unloaded the landfills by half - why is this not an example for federal officials? But…

When the "garbage reform" started, in violation of Art. 34 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, which directly prohibits economic activities aimed at monopolization and unfair competition, the institute of regional operators was introduced, which monopolized the MSW management market for the next 10 years. Having received such a carte blanche, many regional leaders quickly divided their territories into zones and distributed tenders among their “own” operators. When the “pie” was divided, the tasks of the government, step by step, with errors and reservations, but still began to be fulfilled. Supervise, prompt, direct! No, this does not work without the budget ruble, and the federal center decided to further support regional operators by sending 9 billion rubles (!) To 20 regions. How efficiently the money was spent is a big question.

To date, the national project "Ecology" includes 8323 landfills. Of these, 916 are located directly in cities. There is no more precise data on the situation, although it was initially clear that a simple list of landfills was not enough. However, over the past years, the officials responsible for the reform have not created a unified system for monitoring work, cards for recording the remaining and accumulating volumes of waste, which is why a number of investment projects have been idle for a long time without money. At the same time, the situation with landfills is close to critical. In the Magadan region polygons power exhausted in February 2019, in Buryatia - in April 2019, in the Trans-Baikal region, the Jewish autonomous and Krasnodar regions - in September 2019. In general, across the country, with the current rate of increase in the amount of garbage - 1−2% per year - the capacity of landfills will be exhausted in 2 years in 32 regions. In 17 of them, this will happen within the next one and a half years. And most of the subjects have no opportunities to create new polygons.

It is difficult to imagine how, in such a disastrous situation, the task set by the President will be solved - by 2024 to increase the amount of waste sent for disposal to 36%, and by 2030 to switch to 100% sorting of MSW and halve the volume of waste sent to landfills. Our number of sorting and processing complexes remains at the level of statistical error, and half of the country does not know what it is at all. If everything remains as it is, the government has two choices and both are bad - either to extend the duration of the national project indefinitely, or to follow the lead of the incineration lobbyists and arrange Auschwitz in every Russian city.

It is not known which exit was chosen. The new passport of the national project has not yet been approved, officials are still (since October last year!) Making changes and, judging by the options that appear from time to time on government websites, the struggle between the players is serious.

Let's take a closer look at the federal project "Integrated system for solid municipal waste management", or more precisely, at the target indicators for the sorting and processing of MSW and their financial support.

The first is the main option the national project "Ecology", approved by the decree of the government of the Russian Federation No. 16 of 12/24/2018, is still posted on the official website of the Cabinet. But the curators and administrators indicated on the title page are no longer in their posts, the head Loginov was fired almost with a wolf ticket.

The target indicators for waste treatment remained intact: by 31.12.2021, the processing capacity of 21.7 million tons, by 31.12.2024 processing capacity 37.1 million tons. Financial support - 296.2 billion rubles. (107 billion - budget, 182 billion - extrabudgetary funds). Now it reads like fantasy, but there was a time when the budget for MSW was calculated, passed numerous examinations and was quite realistic. They just didn't even begin to carry it out, as follows from the results of the audit of the Accounts Chamber.

Then there was a "pandemic" and the budget, as officials say, "sagged"... Here the Ministry of Natural Resources gave birth to a second version of the passport of the national project "Ecology" (it is still posted on the ministry's website). What was it? An official document (but why was it not approved?) Or amateur performances of officials “assigned to nature” who wanted to show themselves more professionally than their predecessors who had made a mistake? The “new” pros have “improved” waste sorting rates (50.2% by 2024), but the capacity indicators have disappeared - obviously so that it would be impossible to count and believe. The passport is replete with slogans - “Give! Let's lift it up! Let's multiply! " - no specific target indicators. The specifics begin with the "financing" section. It increased by 32% - from 296 to 436 billion rubles, but at the same time the share of extra-budgetary funding increased by 1/4 - from 59 to 79% (also not sickly, I would still like to find out where these generous extra-budgetary sources are). Denis Butsaev, General Director of PPK Russian Ecological Operator, is the head of all this raspberry-raspberry.

The third, very fresh version of the national project was found on the government website on May 6 and judging by the fact that it is posted next to the original project and under the same G2 code, it will become the "corrected" a document according to which the ecological development of the country will proceed in the coming years.

We are looking at how much budgetary funds have been allocated for the commissioning of processing (sorting) capacities MSW in 2019-2024, - 2.44 billion rubles, for the commissioning of facilities for the utilization (processing) of MSW — the same miserable 2.44 billion rubles.

But then the "proofreaders" were not stingy: support for the pants of regional operators —8.84 billion rubles (2 times more (!) Than for the commissioning of all combined facilities for sorting and processing MSW into industrial operation). On the salaries of his beloved, PPK "Russian ecological operator" pledged 55.3 billion rubles. (11 times more (!!) than all sorting and processing capacities). The question arises: what is more important for the national project - waste management or the welfare of clerks wiping their pants in an innocent office in the posh office of the Moscow City International Business Center?

Well, the cherry on the cake is a clear victory Mr. Chemezov and Co. —171.16 billion rubles. (35 times more (!!!) than for the commissioning of all combined capacities for sorting and processing MSW) - to the incinerators of the private company RT-Invest. As we still remember, members of the government Abramchenko, Novak and Kozlov spoke out loudly against the incinerator. Chemezov's voice, it seems, turned out to be more significant. At the same time, Andrey Shipelov, the head of RT-Invest, followed his boss publicly declares that they will incinerate exclusively “sorted MSW tailings”. And on what to sort them? - "This is not our question." This means that they will stupidly burn all MSW in order to get more electricity, and hence profit.

To summarize: out of 424.55 billion rubles, planned for the implementation of the federal project “Integrated system for the management of MSW”, only 4.88 billion rubles are allocated for the commissioning of all the combined facilities for sorting and processing MSW, or 1 ,fifteen %.

With this approach, it is better to keep silent about "ecology"...

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