RUSSIA’A APPEARANCE AT THE HIGH SEGMENT – EXPECTEDLY BAD

Any progressive statements were hardly expected from the Russian President adviser Alexandr Bedritsky. According to our information, his Thursday speech was prepared several days ago, that is the negotiations going on in Cancun have not made any impact on Russia’s position. During the first week, the Russian delegation was aimed on no move at all.

“Several negotiation sessions took place over the last year, however we should recognize that so far there haven no fundamental changes occurred on the negotiation arena,” — said Bedritsky on Thursday. At that is a genuine truth. When a delegation of the third biggest emitter in the world comes to the negotiations with an intention to hamper a process, “fundamental changes” can hardly be expected.

Before Berditsky’s presentation, a little intrigue still remained. Will Russian representative repeat a rejection of participation in the second period of the Kyoto protocol taking into consideration that last week Japan was heavily obstructed for the same statement? “Russia will not take part in the second period of the Kyoto commitments,” – said Bedritsky on Thursday. One may wonder whether this position will be formulated on paper as a country submission…

The first and most obvious consequence of the second KP period denial is abandonment of the joint implementation (JI) projects that has recently started operating in Russia. Investors will unlikely be hurt – they have where to go as Belarus, Ukraine and other post-Soviet states are going to participate in the second KP period. What a generous gift to the neighbors from Russia’s side! And Russian energy sector that worn out to the national-scale breakdown level can easily wait, it doesn’t need any money for its upgrade! And neither are they needed for renewable energy development. Let’s breathe in coal and masout plants emissions – it’s such a fun!

By the way, another amusing question is whether Russia will hamper implementation of the second KP period. To stay aside watching the money passing by is one approach, “neither for me, nor to the others” is a different one.

However one can’t say that Russia spoke against international climate agreements as such. “In fact, the negotiation process is now in the transition from one legally binding document to another”, – stated Bedritsky.

Surely, the Kyoto protocol has many shortcomings. “Below 2C” observes the negotiations for long time and knows well that a new agreement is very far to reach. It turns out that at first glance sensible suggestion about a new legally binding agreement to replace the KP [under the current state of the negotiations] leads to the situation when we will have no any agreement at all. Certainly, we all hope to the best, i.e. a new potent and legally binding agreement, with China and the USA participating. But it is at least not logical to give up on the second KP period with no clear prospects for the new agreement. However, it’s only not logical if efforts are aimed to develop at least some global climate agreement. If the aim is to live without any agreements and commitments, then it is logical.

“We realize potential threats of global climate change for population and economy of our country, other states and regions, – said Bedritsky yesterday. – And facts now say that it is our country that is leading an issue of greenhouse gases emission reduction. Russia will keep actively participating in all processes leading to real reduction of anthropogenic load on the climate from the side of all the countries in the world!” Well said! But such a participation we are observing now will hardly lead to progress. There are rather problems than progress on the negotiation issues that are of interest for Russia.

Nonetheless, “Below 2C” urges Russian authorities to revise the stated position or behave logically till the end. If there is no second KP period then there will be no emission quota, no JI projects, no participation in other mechanisms. Isolation means isolation. If we want to use all the resources available under the KP extension then it’s time to change approach. To a climate responsible one. And that means, for instance, to stop posing the 1990s economy recession as climate change fight efforts.  And to start implementing active measures on emissions reduction in Russia.

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