Impulse for climate ambition

The pandemic made it impossible to conduct international climate negotiations. Instead of the annual UN summit, virtual climate dialogues have become a place for discussing plans. Activists of the Russian Social-Ecological Union believe that nevertheless the Parties to the Paris Agreement should not postpone emission reductions for the future, and should start to act now.

Climate Dialogues 2020 is held under the auspices of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in an online format. The event is timed to coincide with the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement.

The goal stated by the organizers is to promote progress on the climate change agenda in the run-up to the UN climate summit, which will be held in Glasgow (COP26) later next year. A similar series of virtual events, “The June Pulse to Climate Change,” was held in June in the timeframes of the technical session that did not take place during the pandemic.

According to the organizers of the Climate Dialogues, in addition to addressing technical issues, the work will focus on involving the Parties in the exchange of experiences on the implementation of the Paris Agreement: reducing greenhouse gas emissions, adaptation to the effects of climate change, science, finance, technology, capacity building, transparency. Alike the real conference, some of the events will be open to the public, while others will be closed.


“Climate Dialogues are a key opportunity to improve the results of last year’s UN Climate Change Conference COP25 in Madrid and the June ‘momentum’ in preparation for the major COP26 event,” said UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa. “In Glasgow, we look forward to adopting a package of decisions that reflect the expectations and needs of all Paris Accord stakeholders.”


The Climate Dialogues are taking place at a vital period of time for the climate process when countries prepare to present their updated National Climate Action Plans (NDCs) that underpin the Paris Agreement.


UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for action on the Climate Dialogues:

“I call on you to promote, develop and implement decarbonization plans,” Guterres calls. “50 percent of global GDP and half of the global CO2 emissions are now covered by net-zero commitments. And the number of carbon-free companies has more than doubled over the past year to more than 1,100. We are moving in the right direction, but we need higher speed.”


Recently, a number of leading countries have made statements about new, ambitious contributions to the fight against climate change. Against this background, the Emissions Reduction Ordinance emissions by 30 percent from 1990 levels by 2030 adopted in Russia a month ago does not look ambitious. Many experts point out that Russia’s declared goal does not actually lead to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the country, but only reflects the fact of their reduction due to the economic collapse of the 1990s.


“Russia needs to revise the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions for 2030 and adopt the goal of reducing them to 50% of 1990 levels without taking into account the absorption by forests, as well as to adopt a separate goal for carbon sequestration by forest ecosystems in wetlands,” write in theirPosition representatives of the Russian Social-Ecological Union (RSEU). “The largest greenhouse gas emitting countries must stop delaying emission reductions for the future and start to act now... Coordinated efforts must be made to voluntarily review national goals, i.e., contributions to global efforts, in order to immediately embark on the path of deep decarbonization of the economy.”