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The first steps of Russia at the climate talks in Lima

At the UN climate talks in Lima, Russian delegation continues to insist on a revision of the lists of developed and developing countries under the Convention on Climate Change. The statement by Alexander Bedritsky at the Kremlin website shows that Russia expects from other countries ambition to contribute in reducing emissions and wants to remain voluntary donor for adaptation funds. Interests of Gazprom represented in the official delegation of the Russian Federation attracted attention from observers.

The official Russian delegation consists of 46 people. The top 3 includes Alexander Bedritsky (Advisor to the President, Special Envoy on Climate Change), Oleg Shamanov (Head of Section on Multilateral Cooperation in the Sphere of Environment at the Department for International Organizations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation), and Maxim Yakovenko (Deputy Minister of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation).

The delegation includes Konstantin Romanov, the Head of a department with Gazprom. Gazprom interests in the negotiations may be associated with the mechanism proposed in Bonn imposing a number of financial commitments to the largest oil, gas, coal and cement companies in the world, including Gazprom. At the same time, Gazprom may be interested in investing in projects related to modernization and energy efficiency of production and transportation of energy resources. The full list of the delegation can be found here: http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/2014/cop20/eng/misc01p02.pdf

On December 1, the head of the Russian delegation Alexander Bedritsky issued a statement to the negotiations in Lima on the Kremlin website. He notes the importance of including quantified commitments on emission reductions/contributions in the agreement, which will provide "ambitious" intentions of the Parties. Mr. Bedritsky notes adaptation as the key element and writes: "It is necessary to take into account existing commitments by developed countries to provide financial and technological assistance to support adaptation measures in developing countries and newly established financial multilateral mechanism - Green Climate Fund - which has "windows" of financing both for mitigation and adaptation."

Interestingly, the letter suggests the validity of the new agreement (to be adopted in 2015 and to come into force in 2020) - 10 years without revision of commitments at the mid-term. This is the worst possible option, because the commitments made at the beginning will not be subject to revision, however weak they were. Some experts and NGOs support the option of 5 years. It is believed that the option for 10 years with the revision is better because weak commitments for the year 2025 are expected from the countries.

Russia will continue to assist "as voluntary contributions to international organizations and financial mechanisms, including the Green Climate Fund." The detailed text can be viewed at the following link: http://state.kremlin.ru/face/47115

On December 3, the Russian Federation at the negotiations in Lima announced a proposal to amend Article 4.2 "Parties that are developed countries and other Parties included in Annex I, taking specific commitments." Today, many countries in the list of developing countries have GDPs at the level of developed countries (e. g., the Arab oil-producing countries). A number of incentive mechanisms to reduce emissions and support adaptation may be based on the economic level of the countries, and the level should be adequately reflected in Annexes I and II of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

According to Oleg Shamanov, it is advisable to submit a draft decision here in Lima, and make the decision at the negotiations in Paris. Mr. Shamanov was surprised by the opposition of some countries on this issue. A serious examination is needed, so the contact group provides an opportunity for all to participate in the discussion and possibly to make a decision. It is necessary to focus on preparing for the Paris round of negotiations and resolution of this issue will bring success in Paris. Russia's proposal seeks precisely to this. "I regret that this issue takes so long," says Mr. Shamanov.

The proposal of the Russian Federation reads: "Taking note of the changes in the economic and technological development that have taken place since the adoption of the Convention in 1992 and continue to change, Russian Federation considers it of paramount importance to clearly indicate the need for periodic review of Annexes I and II to the Convention in the light of the most modern scientific information, objectively reflecting the dynamics and the reality of the current socio-economic development of the Parties." It is proposed to insert in Paragraph 4.2 the phrase "Further consideration of amendments to the lists in Annexes I and II should be conducted on a periodic basis, as determined by the Conference of the Parties, as long as the objective of the Convention will not be achieved." The full text can be found here:https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8MNb188iFo1T2s3VDFvNllhMlU/view?usp=sh...

According to Olga Senova, the head of the Climate Secretariat of the Russian Social Ecological Union, the first week of negotiations showed that meanwhile there are more differences in the positions than common actions. Public observers expect from negotiators specific proposals on configuration of the new agreement and contributions of each country in the solution of the problem.