Statement by Russian NGOs on the Outcomes of UN Climate Talks in Durban, South Africa (COP17/CMP7)

Representatives of Russian NGOs who were following the course of the UN climate talks in Durban would like to emphasize the following.

Having in mind the complexity of the negotiations as well as differences in economical, political and environmental situation in the countries, we see the resulting Durban Package and the decision to have the second commitment period of Kyoto Protocol as a partial success, a step towards a new global agreement. However, bearing in mind the current trends of global warming, we express our deep concern about the adoption of a new agreement in 2020, which might come too late to hold the temperature growth within 2 degrees and will fail to avert the irreversible climate changes.

We consider the following points to be the conference's major drawbacks:

  • parties' GHG emissions reduction targets, stated by the Copenhagen Accord in 2009 and which now were included in the Durban Package, remained the same and way too low to keep global warming within 2 degrees Celsius. According to some studies, this kind of weak and inambitious pledges may result in a global temperature rise by 4 degrees by the year 2100.
  • Despite the positive fact of the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol being agreed to, there is an insufficient number of countries who joined Kyoto-2, in order for their efforts to influence the global situation. The countries only account for about 15% of global emissions.
  • Green Climate Fund, established to fund mitigation and adaptation measures in developping countries, remains empty. Financial sources and their collection methods were not defined. This puts a big question mark on all previous promises to provide the necessary amounts of up to 100 billion US dollars a year by 2020.
  • The decisions concerning the accounting of boreal forests were not made. There was a suggestion to account all forest fires as naturally caused ones, which may allow Russia as well as other countries to remain idle in terms of undertaking effective national scale measures to fix obvious flaws in forestry management and the relevant legislation which is way to far from being perfect.

Russian public observers are especially disappointed by Russia's decision not to join Kyoto-2. As the result of such a decision our country is most likely to lose the opportunity to run Joint Implementation projects and to take part in the international emissions trading schemes after 2012. This means the loss of opportunity to attract investments and technologies that are necessary for the modernization of our economy. In this case Russia's vague political ambitions were of bad service to our own economical interests.

We consider it to be beneficial for Russia to join Kyoto-2 and encourage our officials to do it as soon as possible.

We call on to Russia's officials:

  • to raise our voluntary commitments to reduce our GHG emissions by up to 60% by 2020 from the 1990 level (not including the quotas accumulated during KP-1),
  • to produce a national road map of emissions reduction and renewables and energy efficiency development (correlated with the emissions reduction targets) by 2020, and to do it as soon as possible,
  • to catalyze the work on bringing in and registering new JI project in the remaining year of Kyoto-1,
  • to renounce to sell the remaining Kyoto-1 quotas in order to avoid destabilization of the global carbon market.

Representatives of Russian NGOs:

  • Russia Socio-Ecological Union,
  • WWF (Russia),
  • Greenpeace (Russia),
  • Friends of the Baltic (St.Petersburg),
  • Bellona (Murmansk),
  • Ecodefence,
  • Friends of Siberian Forests (Krasnoyarsk)
  • Bellona (St.Petersburg),
  • "Dront" Environmental Center (Nizhny Novgorod),
  • Green World Environmental organization (Nizhny Novgorod),
  • Siberian Environmental Agency,
  • Tomsk Green Cross,
  • "In the Name of Life" Kostroma regional public environmental movement,
  • Buryatian regional union on Baikal indigenous people,
  • "Viola" Bryansk regional NGO,
  • Center for Environmental Initiatives (St.Petersburg),
  • "Ecoperestroyka" environmental group (St.Petersburg),
  • Murmansk regional environmental organization “Kola Environmental Center”,
  • Green Branch regional environmental organization (Yaroslavl)