View settings

Font size:
Site colours:


Official website of the President of Russia

Документ   /

Statement by Special Presidential Representative on Climate Issues Alexander Bedritsky

November 7, 2017

Statement by Special Presidential Representative on Climate Issues Alexander Bedritsky for the 23rd UN Climate Change Conference (Bonn, Germany, November 6–17, 2017; abridged).

The key task of the 23rd UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn is to harmonise specific parameters for the implementation of the Paris Agreement (PA) that will determine the climate regime for the period after 2020.

One of the goals is to draft guidelines for the preparation, presentation and implementation of nationally determined contributions by the PA parties. The Russian Federation suggests that this work should be based on the principles of precision, transparency, completeness, uniformity and comparability of information that are already functioning in the UNFCCC. These guidelines should be uniform for all parties to the Paris Agreement.

As for subsequent discussion of nationally determined contributions, we believe that as part of the efforts to enhance ambition, all subsequent and additional efforts should be based on the PA’s determining “bottom-up” principle, taking into account specific socioeconomic, natural and geographical conditions of states. We support the principle of consistency in increasing the contributions of the parties only after reaching the previous target and on the basis of scientifically sound parameters of these contributions.

In doing so, we believe that politicisation of socioeconomic cooperation, including its climate aspects, and imposition of economic sanctions on some UNFCCC parties are preventing the successful implementation of measures on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and sustainable development that will be immune to climate change. Continuation of the sanctions policy towards a number of countries will call into question the PA implementation by joint efforts.

As for drafting guidelines for taking account of the nationally determined contributions in the use of lands, change of their use, and forest management, the Russian Federation considers it necessary to elaborate non-discriminatory rules for accounting lands, including boreal forests and rainforests, which would properly reflect the national peculiarities of the ecosystems, the principles of managing them and the national accounting systems.

As for financial and technical assistance, provision of the developing nations with means of implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) are of key importance for the successful fulfilment of the PA.

Implementing its political statements, in April 2016 the Russian Federation made a Government decision to allocate $10 million for funding the projects of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) on resisting climate change in the developing countries.These funds are transferred to the Russia-UNDP Trust Fund for Development to support “climate window” initiatives.

In 2017, the following projects are being carried out within the “climate window” framework: the Climate Box: an interactive learning toolkit on climate; the Regulatory Framework to Promote Energy Efficiency in Countries of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU); Addressing Climate Change Impact through Enhanced Capacity for Wildfires Management in Armenia; Adaptation of Cuba to the Climate Change Effect: sustainable planning and development of water resources in Santiago de Cuba; Building Capacity for Climate Resilience in Tajikistan; Support for Zimbabwe’s Nationally Determined Contribution to Implementing the PA; and Facilitating Access to Climate Finance in European and CIS countries. Relevant Russian experts will be involved in all projects.

By its resolution of October 20, 2017, the Government of the Russian Federation endorsed granting the Republic of Fiji financial aid in the amount of $800,000 to support its Presidency at the 23rd UN Climate Change Conference.

The Russian Federation believes it is important to intensify the work aimed at achieving the global goal of adaptation in the process of developing documents for the implementation of the Paris Agreement. In support of this work in the countries, we deem it expedient, within the framework of the Research Dialogue, to pay attention to the scientific aspects of the development of national adaptation plans in the framework of actions under the Paris Agreement.

In climate policy in the field of adaptation, Russia will ensure the process of adjusting the plans for the long-term socioeconomic development of the country and its regions, taking into account the need to adapt the economy to climate change. Given that the effects of climate change are different for both the regions of the Russian Federation and the economic sectors, it is advisable to carry out adaptation based on the Adaptation Planning Concept, which includes the analysis and assessment of current and future weather and climate risks, the assessment of the adaptation potential with a defined list of adaptation options, the assessment of socioeconomic efficiency of the implementation of specific adaptation scenarios, and the development of a detailed adaptation plan, including monitoring and evaluating the progress and results of the adaptation activities’ implementation. This will ensure that the adaptation measures are targeted and effective. There will be a lot of work to do on this track, as, taking into account the size of our country, the diversity of climatic zones, and the high proportion of permafrost areas (about 60 percent of the entire country), the adaptation measures will be very complex and diverse.

In 2017, new conceptual approaches to planning economic activity and to assessing climatic risks for the development of infrastructure, industry, agriculture, and transport were drawn up. Based on the developed approaches, a national adaptation plan will be prepared for adverse climate change.

For the purposes of the Paris Agreement, Russia has submitted the parameters of its possible commitments, such as limiting by 2030 man-made emissions of greenhouse gases at a level of 70–75 percent of the 1990 emissions provided the role of forested areas and their importance for mitigating and adapting to climate change is taken into account in full. At the same time, Russia will ensure unconditional compliance with its earlier obligations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 to 75 percent of the 1990 base.

Like other proposed contributions, these commitments made by almost 100 UNFCCC member countries are included in an information document attached to the resolution by the UNFCCC Conference of Parties in Cancun (2010). Their implementation is the foundation for effective contributions to be made by the countries that are parties to the Paris Agreement. Before the obligations under the Paris Agreement became effective, the Russian Government had been implementing policies designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the public sector of the economy.

Regulatory measures in our country already cover emissions of the companies with state interest at about 9.5 percent of the aggregate amount of man-made emissions in Russia. In absolute terms, this amounts to over 250 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent. Russia is actively working to create a realistic long-term strategy for low-emission and climate-resistant development of the country.

In order to ensure sustainable growth of the Russian economy with low levels of greenhouse gas emissions through a mechanism for improving energy efficiency, a package of policies has been put together, which, once implemented, is expected to decrease energy intensity of production by at least 2 percent per year primarily through the introduction of advanced best available technologies and the modernisation of obsolete production processes and equipment in the sphere of production, transmission and use of energy resources.

The Russian Federation reiterates its commitment to building market mechanisms under the Paris Agreement as defined in Russia’s proposals of April 30, 2017 submitted for the 46th session of the SBSTA (Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice). We proceed from the fact that the market mechanisms envisaged by Article 6 of the Paris Agreement are designed to stimulate reductions in man-made emissions and to help mobilise additional financial resources to support various climate policies.

With regard to Paragraph 8 of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, we operate on the premise that non-market approaches include measures that do not generate or transmit emission reduction units for use in order to comply with the obligations assumed under the Paris Agreement.

Examples of non-market approaches include carbon taxes, environmental labelling, carbon and other technology standards, training and awareness programmes, research and development, and so on.

At this stage, we believe it is important to ensure comprehensive sharing of experience in order to determine the possibilities for applying non-market approaches at the global level and on a universal basis.

We also consider it important to study the experience of the countries in applying non-market approaches in order to identify measures that have the potential to be implemented at the global level.

Drawing on the outcome of the talks in Marrakech, Russia considers important the fact that a number of subnational participants of climate activities, including regions and cities, as well as companies, have announced their further emission reduction plans, transition to renewable energy sources and introduction of low-emission development elements. We believe that consolidation and harmonisation within a single framework of all existing, often disparate, initiatives and climate efforts at the global, regional and national levels is one of the important topics that needs to be discussed at COP23 and during the next few years.

The Paris Agreement recognises the special role of the non-party stakeholders of civil society, the private sector, financial institutions, cities, etc. Russia proposes determining their participation in policies designed to mitigate the effects of climate change, national adaptation plans, and market and non-market mechanisms under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.

We believe the PA should become comprehensive in practical terms, while hydrocarbon regulation should be universal in content and coverage. The involvement of the private sector will facilitate the introduction of low carbon technology, especially in the developing countries that have huge potential for reducing emissions, forming international low-carbon production standards and creating products with a low carbon footprint.

Russia has many examples of corporate climate initiatives, the number of which keeps growing every year. Russian companies and regions took an active part in National Climate Week held in Russia in 2017 for the first time. Companies and large cities will present a number of their achievements in the Russian pavilion at COP23 in Bonn and the exhibition Environmental Education in the Russian Federation in the Interests of Sustainable Development.

An association of large Russian companies, Russian Partnership to Preserve the Climate, will present its position in connection with Russia’s preparations for ratifying the PA.

Facilitative Dialogue is planned for 2018. This is a process of reviewing the actions of countries, the arrangement and principles of holding which should still be discussed and agreed upon. Understanding that these activities will be reviewed separately from the general agenda of COP23, Russia hopes for open and transparent special consultations that are expected to be held by the presidents of COP22 and COP23 on the basis of the dialogue principles set forth in a note by the president of COP23.

Noting the growth of unfavourable consequences of climate change, we are convinced that countering global climate change is one of the key conditions for securing sustainable development, overcoming poverty and achieving socioeconomic prosperity of all countries.

We reaffirm our commitment to the PA goals and our interest in the success of the 23rd UN Climate Change Conference under the presidency of the Republic of Fiji. We are looking forward to constructive cooperation with all parties in the spirit of transparency and collective responsibility.

November 7, 2017