Finnish-Russian cooperation on environmental measurements resulted in emission measurement skills, adaptation of new measurement methods and quality assurance.
27 April 2012
Cross-border work for more accurate emission data
Leading Finnish research center has cooperated two
decades with Russian partners in environmental
measurements. Successful results have been achieved
particularly in emission measurement skills,
adaptation of new measurement methods and quality
assurance. Reliable data on emission levels is of
importance for domestic and international purposes -
in developing climate policies and measures to mitigate
and adapt to climate change.
Environmental co-operation with Russia started year 1991 by the Finnish Ministry of the
Environment. In 1992, within this framework, a project aiming at the establishment of national
atmospheric emission measurement systems in Russia was launched by VTT Technical Research
Centre of Finland.
In addition to establish national emission measurement activity in Russia, the objective is to
disseminate information to other measurement institutes.
Partner laboratories included at that time regional laboratories in Petrozavodsk and Murmansk. Co-
operation projects have also been carried out with the Scientific Research Institute for Atmospheric
Air Protection (SRI Atmosphere).
The development work covered inventory and delivery of emission
measurement equipment and several courses on emission
measurement technology, quality assurance applied to emission
measurements and courses on new EU directives and standards.
Russian strong basic research has provided excellent, world-class
results in many areas. “This scientific and technological knowledge
base has made it possible to deepen cooperation from the very
also to obtain concrete results faster,” says Tuula Pellikka, Project
Manager at VTT.
Minimizing EU-Russia gap in the measurements
One of the latest co-operation projects focuses on the capacity building in emission measurement
and also on the development of environmental control system in Russia.
With this co-operation project it will be possible in the long run to minimize the gap between
European Union's and Russia's environmental protection requirements and their implementation.
This phase included comparison measurements to evaluate the level of the emission measurements.
The participants measure same unknown matrix at the same time in real stack conditions.
Russian experts from Murmansk and Petrozavodsk have taken part in comparision measurements in
power plants in Finland. Respectively, Finnish experts have been following comparision
measuments in Russia.
These measurements give possibilities to improve procedures when laboratories interact with each
other. Results are useful to prove the competence, for example, requirement of laboratory
accreditation. They also are of importance for process and emission control.
This project has been carried out in the co-operation with Center Laboratory for Analysis and
Technical Measurements in North-West Russia Tslati, St. Petersburg and VTT. Tslati works under
the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology.
Other participants in this co-operation are from Tslati´s regional laboratories in North-West Russia;
Komi, Kalingrad, Arkangelsk, Karelia, Murmansk, Vologda, Novgorod and Pskov.
“For the future, we recommend updating of the emission measurement equipment as well as
emission measurement methods and improving quality issues, such as regular comparison
measurements and permanent use of calibration gases,” Pellikka says. “In addition, workshops for
authorities and measurement teams are needed for dissemination of knowledge.”
Accurate data to combat climate change
Russia will be an important stakeholder in the negotiations concerning a new international climate
deal. Reliable emission data is of importance in developing climate policies, efforts to mitigate
climate and adaptation measures. Russia is the country with the largest potential for UN Joint
Implementation (JI) projects. Accurate emission data will promote these projects.
Thus, it has been of importance to set up competent national measurement systems to provide
reliable data on emission levels for domestic and international purposes.
For instance, in a quality assessment carried out in 1999, the measurement results of the Murmansk
laboratory and VTT in Finland were found to converge, providing evidence for the reliability of the
In the audit performed in 2005, the professional skills of the laboratory staff in Murmansk were
rated as excellent.
The laboratory currently functions as a reference laboratory for the whole Murmansk region, and
plays a central role in industrial emission measurement and the dissemination of related information
in the Kola Peninsula.
Cross-border cooperation connected to EU programs
Future neighbouring area cooperation between Finland and Russia will be more closely connected
to the EU's cross-border cooperation programs, which will also be the main source of funding for
cooperation. This policy outline is included in the new framework agreement for cross-border
cooperation, concluded between Finland and Russia.
Aimed at promoting regional development on both sides of the border, the framework agreement
supports the implementation of the EU's ENPI CBC (European Neighbourhood and Partnership
Instrument, Cross-Border Cooperation) program across the Finnish and Russian border.
New funding mechanisms will not be created through the agreement. Sources of funding will
include the ENPI CBC programs and other possible EU sources, funding from international
financing institutions and budget funding from central and regional government.
In 2007-2013, Finland's cooperation with Russia has been implemented through three programs.
Total funding for these programs amounts to around EUR190 million, with the EU, Finland and
Russia contributing to the funding.
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