International Climate Negotiations

December, 8: Russian delegation to COP17 held a press conference this morning. A.Frolov, head of Roshydromet, said human impact on climate change is indisputable (while it has been debated a lot by Russian scientific community). He said that Russia reduced its emissions by 36% since 1990. NGOx consider this is a questionable achievement since it is mostly due to the industrial crisis of the 90-s. Mr. Frolov also stated that Kyoto-2 is a false goal and Russia will not be a part of it.

08th of December 2011 the Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation on Climate Change, Mr. Alexander Bedritskiy, has made a Statement to the 17th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC/ 7th Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol in Durban, South Africa

The high level segment of climate negotiations, bringing ministers and heads of states, has started. At the official opening head of the Russian delegation, Head of Roshydromet, A.Frolov and the President’s advisor on climate change, A.Bedritsky, were presented. NGO observers from Russia and Ukraine directed an appeal to the delegates to allow JI only to those countries who sign KP2. Russia suggests to vote at the COP on the correction of the Artickle 4 of the Convention concerning revision of lists of developed and developing countries. But their is still o sufficient movement both to KP-2 and to the new legally binding agreement

In the end of the first week of UN climate talks according to the request of the RSEU climate secretariat the coordinator of Russian official delegation Oleg Shamanov met Russian NGO observers working at COP17 (Russian Socio-Ecological Union, Friends of the Baltic, Ecodefence, Ural Ecounion).

NGOs cannot stay at the conference venues after 10 pm and there is a proposal to keep NGOs away from SBI meetings. Thawing of permafrost was highlighted by South African press while no reaction from Russia on this issue. Poland lobbies coal while misusing its EU Presidency status. African countries may not receive most of the proposed funding to fight climate change.

The third day of COP17 did not bring forth any progress in the negotiations. During the discussion of Kyoto mechanisms Oleg Shamanov, Russia’s representative, said that JI project provide a great stimulus for emissions reduction measures and have to remain in operation after 2012, but failed to mention anything about the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. At an evening side event Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine presented their respective situations with emissions trends, but said nothing about their future intentions in this field for the current negotiations.

June 17: the second round of UN climate negotiations for this year ended in Bonn, Germany. Despite certain progress in working on technical details the big questions of the Kyoto second commitment period, emissions reduction goals and long-term financing remain unsolved.

Second round of UNFCCC climate negotiations 2011 starts in Bonn 6th of June. The key issue: discussion of frames for the future international agreement, which hopefully will be brought to UNGCCC/COP-17 conference in Durban in November 2011. International NGO Climate Action Network has published expectation of the Durban decision.

At the past negotiations in Bangkok Russia continued to push against the second commitment period and for a future replacement of the Kyoto protocol with a brand new agreement. At the same time Russia is aiming at using the potential of Kyoto mechanisms for obvious benefits. Besides, Russia proposed a sectoral approach to emissions reduction in metallurgy, cement industry and the energy sector. Sadly, nuclear power keeps being advocated as a low-carbon solution.

April, 3: a sequential session of UN climate talks opened in Bangkok where the parties are to discuss the implementation of Cancun agreements to this date. One of the main goals now is to avoid the gap after the first commitment period elapses in 2012. Russian Socio-Ecological Union’s opinion is that given the absence of a new agreement in view the Kyoto Protocol should be prolonged with the necessary additions and changes taken into consideration.

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