Statement of the Advisor to the President of the Russian Federation, Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation on Climate Change, Mr. Alexander Bedritskiy, to the 18th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC/ 8th Meeting of the

Russian Federation

Statement of the Advisor to the President of the Russian Federation,

Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation on Climate Change,

Mr. Alexander Bedritskiy,

to the 18th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC/

8th Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol

Doha, Qatar, 06 December 2012

Secretary General of the United Nations,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Last year, in Durban, countries agreed to commence work on the preparation of a new global climate agreement for the post-2020 period, to be completed by 2015. To ensure this work is effective, Doha must define a general vision for the new agreement and adopt a roadmap for its elaboration. This conference must conclude the lengthy negotiation process carried out by the Ad-Hoc Working Groups to prepare a second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol and to determine long-term cooperative action under the Convention.

The first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012. This Protocol, coincidentally, entered into force only subsequent to its ratification by the Russian Federation. Russia, as an economy in transition, has fully met its commitments in the first period. For future cooperation to be successful, we believe it is imperative to promptly review the first period and abide by the legal procedures of the Protocol on compliance-assessment.

The carry-over of Assigned Amount Units (AAUs) is a clearly stipulated right of any Annex-B party to the Kyoto Protocol. It is the cornerstone of an important legal architecture, which governs both compliance in the first period, and target levels in the second. Adhering to this very same principle of the Protocol, Russia is insisting on the transfer of remaining AAUs for those countries who are entitled to it. Yet today the Russian Federation, like a number of UNFCCC Annex-I countries, does not intend to make quantitative commitments for further GHG-emissions reduction in the second period, which will cover only about 15% of global emissions. Nevertheless, the Russian Federation, by remaining a party to the Protocol, will continue to respect all of its current obligations (except quantitative ones).

On the subject of a new agreement, a strategic determinant for the Russian Federation is the active participation of all countries of the world, primarily of major GHG-emitters, in the global climate solution. While the substance of the climate commitments and the actions of developed and developing countries may differ post 2020, everything should be reflected in a single document. But prior to the new agreement’s entry into force, more emphasis should be placed on intensifying cooperation, such that developed and developing countries reach their national targets by 2020. Those countries that have not yet set specific targets must do so by 2020. The attitude of the Conference of the Parties towards countries’ Copenhagen and Cancun objectives has been less than galvanizing. These objectives seek to reduce the climate burden before 2020 by using the Convention. They should be acknowledged by the UNFCCC COP. This will anchor the foundation of transparency and trust in the process.

The practical achievements of the Kyoto Protocol in terms of monitoring and accountability procedures, compliance, and market mechanisms should be put to the best possible use. Russia, for example, is interested in gaining more experience, bilaterally or as part of a multilateral initiative, in how to best use market mechanisms to reduce humanity’s impact on the environment and the climate system.
Our country endeavors to avoid any lacunae in its GHG-emissions-reductions activities. In 2013 we will begin to realize the emissions-reduction goal we announced in Copenhagen and confirmed in Cancun as part of our Convention commitments; namely, a 25% reduction in emissions by 2020. We will achieve this in concert with other developing countries. Together our aggregate share of global emissions is some 30%.

To strengthen the Climate Regime, the Russian Federation has submitted a topical amendment to the Convention, providing the possibility to revise Annexes I and II. We plan to continue constructive deliberations on this proposal.
One fifth of the planet’s forests are located within the Russian Federation. This is 70% of all boreal forests and 25% of virgin forests. For this reason, the Russian Federation advocates taking due account of the contribution forests make to stabilizing the climate. Russia suggests developing relevant projects to this end in the new climate agreement.

We are currently at a critical, decision-making juncture. The Russian Federation expects that our arduous collective efforts in Doha will culminate in the adoption of a balanced package of decisions. This, in turn, will lead the way to practical action to develop a new climate regime and to lighten the anthropogenic load on our climate system.
Thank you for your attention.