Russian NGO Position Paper to COP22, Marrakesh

The conference , held by Russian Social Ecological Union/Friends of the Earth Russia, 1-3 of November, 2016, in St.Peteresburg, adopted the NGO Position to UN climate change conference COP22 in Marrakesh.

Position paper
of Russian non-governmental organizations
regarding the 22nd Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22/CMP12)
in Marrakesh, Morocco, November 2016

Russian environmental NGOs recognize the importance of the Paris Agreement coming into force, but we strongly emphasize the fact that national emissions reduction targets declared by countries for the period of 2025 to 2030 are not enough to reach the agreed-upon target of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius and aiming for 1.5 degrees. We call upon all countries of the world to ratify the Agreement, in case they have not done so yet, no later than 2017 and take an active part in practical realization of the goals of UNFCCC.
We strongly believe that the implementation process and its rules, to be drafted at COP-22, must ensure the following:

  • The revision of national targets every 5 years towards constant strengthening. Current national emissions reduction targets are leading the world to the 3 degrees scenario, hence the gap between the global 2-degree target must be reduced at least 30% by 2018, by reviewing national targets.
  • The existence of a transparent and efficient mechanism of implementing international projects to reduce emissions in various sectors of economy and increase CO2 absorption during land use activities. The mechanism should provide direct incentives for energy efficiency and renewable energy development, as well as implementation of new technologies, and filter out false solutions (such as nuclear power, Big Hydro/dams, coal projects, and CСS).
  • Conservation of all forests, including boreal, and natural reforestation, as well as conservation of river ecosystems and wetlands. The rules of accounting for GHG emissions in land use must correspond to actual gas exchange flows, and be transparent and unambiguous.

We strongly believe that the Agreement must lead the world to carbon-free energy by the middle of the 21st century, and ultimately towards 100% renewable energy.

We demand abolishing the practice of reducing the number of observer status places for NGOs at UNFCCC conferences, since NGOs play an important role in providing public access to information related to climate, implementation of the Agreement, as well as emissions reduction, adaptation and finance.
We call on the official Russian delegation to take a constructive stand at the upcoming negotiations and do whatever it takes to develop efficient instruments of implementing the Paris Agreement and UN decisions.
We call on Russia to:

  • Follow the Implementation plan on carbon regulation and the Paris Agreement, allowing for advancement in terms within the schedule, without postponing.
  • Ratify the Paris Agreement in 2017.
  • Introduce amendments to the Federal Environmental Protection Law, that are necessary to implement decisions concerning mandatory reporting of GHG emissions in 2017 (large industrial sources) and in 2018 (medium sources) and do not allow to postpone the dates of the introduction of reporting.
  • To develop (in 2017) and adopt (in 2018) a National Adaptation Plan; plan for the allocation of funds that are necessary for its implementation on both federal and regional level; prioritize adaptation of forestry and water resources management, nature use, considering the interests and traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples.
  • Formulate (in 2017) and adopt (in 2018) a separate target on protection of forests and wetlands.
  • Develop a draft concept (in 2017) and adopt (in 2018) a Federal Law on Carbon Regulation; launch practical measures to provide incentives for increasing energy efficiency and the introduction of new technologies with the help of carbon regulation.
  • Revise national emissions targets for 2030 (by 2018), at least in accordance with the new Energy strategy until 2035 (keeping a constant level of CO2 emissions without accounting for forests – 30% below the 1990 level);
  • Develop a legal basis (by 2018) and provide methodological assistance to create and implement climate action plans of Russiaт regions (subjects of the Federation), including both adaptation and low-carbon development.

We support Russia’s intention to become a voluntary donor under the international climate finance scheme, and help the weakest and most vulnerable countries by contributing to the international climate fund (GCF - Green Climate Fund) and the recently established Russian Federation - UNDP Trust Fund for Development. This information must be open and published on open state-run internet resources.

Energy efficiency and renewable energy sources must become the priority of Russia’s low-carbon development, which requires an increase in governmental support of these areas and the development of regional road maps for renewable energy development.

This should become the basis for a long-term strategy of low-carbon development until 2050 (development of which is mandatory under the Paris Agreement). It must not include the plans to increase the share of nuclear energy and big hydro dams in the country’s energy balance, or the use of CCS and clearly correspond to the global pathway towards zero carbon energy by the middle of the 21st century.

We stand for the re-orientation of subsidies from fossil fuels towards renewables and energy efficiency, while providing assistance to vulnerable social groups and creating green jobs.

We want to emphasize that nuclear and hydro energy cannot be regarded as environmentally sound solutions to reduce the human impact on the Earth’s climate system!
We call on to reduce the consumption of the planet’s resources, both on the national, and the individual level.

Position paper adopted by the 9th RSEU conference Climate and Energy – Solutions for the Future, November 3, 2016, tended by 62 representatives of 30 environmental NGO from 7 Federal Districts of Russia.