International Climate Negotiations

Climate Change Performance Index was presented 3rd of December in Doha by Germanwatch and Climate Action Network-Europe. According to this Index Russian Federation is on the 56th place among 58 biggest emitters worldwide. The latest information about Russia's intention to declare the goal of 15-25% emissions reduction by 2020 indicates low ambitions, and partly explains the fact that our country is at the end of the rating.

There is a vast surplus of units in Kyoto's cap-and-trade system. Russia and Ukraine spoke in favor of the carry-over of AAUs to the second commitment period of Kyoto Protocol (KP2) and beyond. If no solution for the carry-over of this surplus from commitment period to commitment period is found, countries that have put forward a target for KP2 may be under no pressure to deviate from business-as-usual emissions.

Limiting the volume of Russian Joint Implementation (JI) projects is not reasonable, and profit losses are clearly foreseen, if Russia does not join the second period of the Kyoto Protocol. This is the conclusion by experts from Climate Change Global Services in the report on implementation of "Kyoto projects" in Russia.

EU economic downturn has created an oversupply on the carbon market. Therefore, the European Commission restricts "free" reductions to maintain the market. According to experts, the demand for Russian potential emission reductions can be preserved only if Russia takes meaningful goals to reduce the impact on the climate and makes the carbon market regulations transparent. This is one of the main expectation form Russia at the COP-18 in Doha, Quatar.

Global leaders explain their inability to respond to the problem of global warming by economic interests. These excuses have no grounds: scientists concluded that the slowdown of the global economy due to climate change and dependence on fossil fuels has already caused losses of 1.6% of the global GDP, or $ 1.2 trillion a year. The deficit of real action can double this number by 2030 At the start of International UN Climate Conference in Doha (Qatar), politicians are expected to take real action.

November 26: the 18th annual meeting of the parties under the UN convention on climate change opens in Doha, Qatar. Over 17000 delegates and 1500 media representatives from 195 countries are expected to take part. Russian NGOs are looking forward to decisive steps by the Russian official delegation towards joining the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, voicing out significant commitments to reduce its emissions as well as suggestions as to the Green Investment scheme development.

Active participation of the RF delegation in the discussion on the future of the second stage of the Kyoto Protocol at the UN session of climate negotiations, which has just ended in Bangkok, gave a hope that the country is intending to join the climatic agreement. However, Presidential Advisor on climate issues Alexander Bedritsky resolutely refuted any gossips on Russia’s possible participation in KP-2 and stated that “as long as the decision was made by the President, this issue should be resolved at the same presidential level…”

Some observers call the climate negotiations session that ended last week in Bonn one of the most unsuccessful. Others are somewhat more optimistic: "Although absolutely nothing has been done, at least, nothing happened that could endanger the most important cause - the beginning of work on a new agreement."

The focus of the negotiation was on the developing of the new agreement on climate change that is to be finished until the end of 2015 according to the decision of the international UN conference in Durban, South Africa in December 2011, and will come into force from 2020. Prior to this, all countries need to undertake some actions to reduce emissions. After termination of the first period of the Kyoto Protocol (December 2012) there will be substantially less international mechanisms to stimulate low-carbon projects available for the countries that did not join KP 2, including Russia.

Representatives of Russian NGOs who were following the course of the UN climate talks in Durban would like to emphasize the following.
Having in mind the complexity of the negotiations as well as differences in economical, political and environmental situation in the countries, we see the resulting Durban Package and the decision to have the second commitment period of Kyoto Protocol as a partial success, a step towards a new global agreement. However, bearing in mind the current trends of global warming, we express our deep concern about the adoption of a new agreement in 2020, which might come too late to hold the temperature growth within 2 degrees and will fail to avert the irreversible climate changes.