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International Climate Negotiations

Observers and participants of the Climate Conference of the UN FCCC (СОР22) in Marrakech (Morocco) articulate their expectations. Representatives of public environmental organizations push for the global community to abandon hazardous and risky projects and provide support to the development of well-tried low-carbon technologies.

Every day one can hear the theme of renewable energy (RESs) at the negotiations in Marrakech. Two years of crashing prices for oil, natural gas, and coal triggered dramatic downsizing in those industries, while renewables have been thriving. Clean energy investments broke new records in 2015 and is now seeing twice as much global funding as fossil fuels.

November 1-3, in the suburbs of St. Petersburg Russian Social ecological Union/Friends of the Earth Russia held the conference "Climate and energy. Solutions for the future". Event was attended by 62 representatives of 30 environmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from 7 Federal districts of the Russian Federation. International seminar on NGO cooperation within the Civil society Forum EU-Russia "Energy sustainability and climate adaptation of regulated aquatic ecosystems management" and international seminar "Strengthening NGOs in promoting energy efficiency to local communities development and climate protection" happened within the days of conference.

Along with over 170 other countries, Russia signed the Paris Agreement – the new international climate agreement due to replace the Kyoto protocol – at a ceremony held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. This day will be remembered for the highest number of countries that signed an international agreement on day one.

The new international agreement will replace in 2020 the Kyoto Protocol and outline the major directions for countries’ cooperation on adaptation and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. However, from the viewpoint of the most vulnerable countries, public organizations, and even some business people, so far the Agreement gives no guarantees of slowdown of climate changes, nor it resolves issues of assistance to countries which are suffering from climatic outcomes the most. For Russia, the new Agreement might become a catalyst for modernization of its economy if mechanisms of priority support to energy efficiency and the green energy will work.

On December 9, RF Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology Sergey Donskoy made a presentation at the press-conference within the frame of the UN COP-21 Climate Conference in Paris. The Minister presented Russia’s outcomes and plans on accounting and regulation of greenhouse gas emissions, development of energy efficiency and no-carbon energy generation; unfortunately, he had included in the latter major hydro power energy production and nuclear power stations.

On December 7, within the frame of the UN СОР-21 Climate Conference in Paris, a press-conference with Anatoly Chubais, Director of the Rosnano State Corporation, took place. He presented the Rosnano’s view on the role of “clean materials” in the reduction of greenhouse emissions. According to Chubais, along with energy efficiency and renewable energy, the “clean materials” based on nanotubes can contribute up to 22% in emission reduction; estimates of the Center for Energy Efficiency confirm this.

On December 4, the Day of Indigenous Small-Numbered Peoples of the North of the Russian Federation took place in the unrestricted zone of the COP21 Negotiations Complex which all interested parties can have free access to. Indigenous ethnic groups from Yakutia, the Amur River, and Chukotka regions told how they suffer because of the climate change and how their traditions accounting of thousand years cannot help them to survive under the new conditions.

On December 5 and 6, the “World Village of Alternatives”, an enormous expo-style event showcasing alternative climate-related solutions for settlements took place in Montreuil, a municipality in the Eastern part of the “big Paris”, as part of the UN Climate Summit, COP21.

On December 4, the official Russian delegation organized an event within the frame of COP-21entitled “The Role of Russian Forests in Adsorbing Greenhouse Gases: Policies and Actions”. Russia has 70% of all boreal forests and 25% of world forest resources. The policy of forest preservation and restoration and efficient forest management plays a great role in reduction of concentration of greenhouse gases: if we do not do this, the absorbing capacity of forests might go down to zero.

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