Climate Actions

This past February marked the 10th anniversary of the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol, the world’s first emission reduction treaty. Experts differ in their evaluations of the document’s performance. However, environmental NGOs say that this first ever climate agreement proved to be a good tool that allowed to test if countries are fit to respond to the climate challenge.

Many people think of global warming as a positive process that is going to reduce the amount of snowfall, the number of snowstorms and the overall occurrence of extreme cold. MIT scientists debunk this myth and say that most regions in the Northern Hemisphere, including Russia, will be hit by heavier snowfall and extreme cold as the result of climate change.

To summarize the outcomes of 2014, the Climate Secretariat presents a top-5 of the year’s most important climate-related discoveries. Not all of them are actual scientific discoveries, strictly speaking. Rather, they are both the realizations that humanity has matured enough to come to, and naked facts - that present a serious dilemma for both Russia and the rest of the world.

ClimateProgress analysts state that despite the whirlwind of negative events that severely affected the world economy the year 2014 was marked by a number of significant positive events in terms of renewable energy development. According to environmental NGOs, these positive technological accomplishments have the ability to create the foundation for a stable world economy.

The large drop in oil prices will change the future of our climate, experts claim. If oil and gas consumption does not go down, we are bound to see the melting of ice caps and glaciers with the consequent sea level rise and an array of climate disasters by 2050. Experts and environmental NGOs are certain that now is time to get rid of the oil addiction and to take advantage of the current negative economic situation.

The current climate challenge is an opportunity, say the authors of the recently published New Climate Economy report, presented at the UN Climate Summit in Lima, Peru. Politicians do not need to choose between the economic growth and fighting climate change. What they have to do is just to make a bet on low-carbon development.

Experts are positive that forests will play a significant role in the new climate agreement. Russia, being so rich in forests, is interested in a proper inventory and accounting system for its forestry and land use, say Environmental NGOs. However, now is the time to create real economic mechanisms that are instrumental in forest conservation and restoration.

The participants of the recently concluded UN Climate Talks in Lima, Peru, eventually managed to come to terms on the draft agreement. The deal that emerged early on Sunday found a solution by changing a single word – “shall” to “may”, with regard to the obligations of the Parties. Environmental NGOs do welcome the progress of the negotiations, but believe there will be no real progress without fleshing out the text with something more specific.

On the last day of Lima climate talks, Russia held an event titled ‘Goals and Objectives of the Russian Climate Policy up to 2020 and Prospects for 2030’. The same day Russia along with Ukraine and Belarus received the Fossil of the Day public anti-award for unconstructive behavior during the negotiations.

The first week of Lima talks did not result in any progress regarding the creation of the Green Climate Fund, and the adaptation issues were none of their priority. The new typhoon in the Philippines is symbolic of the cynicism of such an approach. The countries’ commitments to reduce their GHG emissions have failed to include any specific detail. The fossil fuel lobby keeps looking for loopholes to continue the fossil fuel industry development within the new climate agreement’s framework.