Advisor on Climate to the President of the Russian Federation promises the 2014 Winter Olympics with a zero carbon balance, and Japan makes climate plans without NPPs
On 20 November, official heads of delegations began formal speeches at the UN Climate Conference in Warsaw within the "high segment" of the negotiations. A. I. Bedritskiy, Advisor on Climate to the President of the Russian Federation stated that adaptation to climate change shall be a priority of environmental policy, and the Olympic Games in Sochi will be the first ones in the history of the Games with a zero carbon balance.
Speeches of all representatives of states at the COP-19 plenary meeting started with expressions of support for the Philippines and other countries affected by the typhoon. The Philippines representative said that ocean warming is fueling typhoons, and they have become so frequent that names for them are in deficit.
According to the Philippines, developed countries have demonstrated their leadership role, significantly reducing emissions. However, that does not mean that they have performed the task. In fact, the talks are about "who will live and who will die." Developing countries are not to blame for what is happening - and alone they cannot cope with consequences of the climate change.
In his speech, A. I. Bedritskiy said that Russia remains a party to the Kyoto Protocol, and will comply with all its provisions except quantitative commitments. Voluntary commitments that Russia took on limiting emissions by 2020 at 75 % of 1990 level were fixed by the Presidential decree in October 2013. According to A. I. Bedritskiy, mutual recognition of voluntary national commitments is necessary. This can be done by the Conference of Parties to the Convention.
In his speech, the representative of the Russian Federation mentioned again a topical issue of developing mechanisms of sustainable land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) and, in particular, taking into account the boreal forests, while the boreal forests deposit twice as much carbon than any other terrestrial ecosystem and almost twice as much as the rainforests. Russia sees the future of the agreement in a Protocol to the Convention with a 10-years commitment period.
In conclusion, A. I. Bedritskiy said that the Olympic Games in Sochi will be the first Games with zero carbon balance (please see the full text of Bedritskiy’s speech attached).
The representative of Japan said that the country is ready to provide emission reductions without nuclear energy. Although the national goal of reducing emissions by 3.8 % from 2005 to 2020 looks lacking in ambition, this implies improvement in energy efficiency by 20 %. Japan confirmed its contribution of 1.6 trillion yen to support international climate actions and official development assistance within the UN.