There is no Unity of Opinion on Climate Policy between Russian Supreme Authorities - Russian Upper House Speaker Predicts Global Cooling

Rashid Alimov

Sergei Mironov, speaker of the Federation Council, the upper house of the Russian parliament, lectured at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations of Ministry of Foreign Affairs. But what Mironov, a geophysicist by training, taught young diplomats, clearly contradicts both international scientific consensus and the Russian policy on this issue. Sergey Mironov is not the first acts opponent of the Russian national climate policies. In October 2009 in the TV program "Late conversation" he spoke of the futility of Joint Implementation projects.

Mironov compared global warming with the ozone holes problem, much discussed in the eighties, Russian Parliamentary newspaper reads. According to Mironov, the main source of the ozone layer depletion was found to be freons; American scientists, alarmed the mankind about the danger, were awarded the Nobel Prize, and the Montreal Protocol was adopted, which effectively banned use of freons. According to Mironov, only few companies producing alternatives to freons, benefited from this political step, but, without waiting for effects of the freon bans, ozone layer recovered itself, because the problem was "artificial."

However, even without discussing the correctness of this statement (after all, ozone layer depletion is a matter of fact, and despite the Montreal Protocol efforts, its recovery requires by different estimates from 40 to 60 years), we cannot but note difference in scale of action and the amount of involved companies and countries.

In the case of greenhouse gases we are talking about energy and energy efficiency as a whole, rather than about a limited number of producers of a particular substance or its substitutes. The Kyoto Protocol and the new agreement, which will replace it, seems only to accelerate the introduction of renewable energy - a process that would take place gradually in any case: hydrocarbon fuels will sooner or later end. Commercial benefit from the Kyoto protocol comes to producers of more energy-efficient equipment, less energy-intensive technologies, energy-efficient materials. All of these processes themselves are important, even if climate change did not exist.

At the end of the lecture Sergei Mironov, the Parliamentary newspaper reads, quoting the data of domestic scientists, said that “it might be not warming, as urged by advocates of alarmism, but rather, a serious cooling”. This point of view, Mironov already voiced two weeks ago at a meeting of the Security Council of Russia on trends in global climate change and possible threats to Russia. Following the meeting, Russian President instructed the Government to adopt before 1 October a set of measures to implement the Climate doctrine, signed by the President in December 2009, stating and developing the necessary legal acts.

Russian Socio-Ecological Union, recognizing the right of any person to put forward their own theories about climate change, regrets that the young Russian diplomats seem to have received a false idea of the basic scientific views on the issue of global warming. It is worth noting that global warming is no longer a hypothesis, but rather an observed phenomenon.

According to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution (second half of 18th century), the average temperature of Earth's atmosphere increased by 0.7 degrees Celsius, 90-ies and the first decade of the new millennium were registered as extremely hot, and different climate models predict further warming.

The Russian Climate doctrine, signed by President Medvedev in December 2009, and comprising official approach to the issue, reads: "An unprecedented high rate of global warming observed in recent decades is a metter of particular concern. Modern science provides more compelling reasons to prove that human activities primarily related to greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels, has a significant influence on the climate. "