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Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

December 10, 2019

On December 2, the 25th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change opened in Madrid. The Russian delegation to the conference is led by Adviser to the President and Special Presidential Representative on Climate Issues Ruslan Edelgeriyev.

Participants in the conference are expected to finalise and approve Paris Agreement rules, primarily those designed to introduce market and non-market mechanisms for international cooperation in the field of sustainable development.

Participants in the summit will also review issues related to reporting and climate finance, including the creation and operation of the Adaptation Fund, as well as methodological and technical matters.

About 25,000 experts from governmental and non-governmental organisations, the academic and business communities, and international financial institutions are expected to take part in the conference.

On December 10, Ruslan Edelgeriyev addressed the High-Level Segment of the Conference.

* * *

Ruslan Edelgeriyev: Madam Chairperson, delegates, ladies and gentlemen,

First of all, the Russian Federation welcomes Chile’s presidency at the 25th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC and highly appreciates the efforts by the Government of the Kingdom of Spain related to organising this Conference in Madrid as well as the hospitality displayed by the Kingdom.

I find it important to profit by this opportunity and declare once again that the Russian Federation shares with the entire international community the goals and responsibility for maintaining the climate. We are firmly convinced that the Paris Agreement can and must become the principal tool in consolidating all countries’ efforts to combat the causes of climate change and to stop the growth of greenhouse gas emissions, as well as to consolidate the countries’ efforts to adapt to climate change.

At the same time, we express serious concern over the current persistent global growth of greenhouse gas emissions and the lack of any signs of achieving the peak values of emissions within the next few years. In our view, we absolutely need, first, urgent, and, second – and this seems to me even more important – significantly more effective, coordinated joint actions by the entire international community to solve climate problems.

We believe that developing “rules” to organise these joint actions that are aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and implementing joint business projects and initiatives within the framework of the sustainable development mechanism is one of the key issues, and we expect the approval of all necessary decisions here in Madrid.

Let me note once again that the Russian Federation, based on the need to achieve the goals of stabilising the climatic system, as expressed in the Paris Agreement, prioritises the intensification of cooperation between countries in this sphere. Russia supports and will continue to support efforts by the Green Climatic Fund to implement climate related projects in developing countries. It will also support the projects sponsored by international development institutions as well as the areas in international cooperation suggested by Article 6 of the Paris Agreement with regard to both market and non-market collaboration mechanisms.

Accordingly, we also regard the removal of numerous barriers, including unilateral sanctions, as one of our priorities. In recent years, there have been increasingly more barriers like this, which impede countries’ full-scale investment, technological and information cooperation in the fight against climate change.

The Russian Federation fully shares the opinion of the majority of countries and international organisations on the need to strongly consider scientific assessments in the process of political decision-making on how to protect the climate.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Currently, as part of the effort to implement the Paris Agreement, Russia is drafting a Presidential Executive Order on the national goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions until 2030, a national plan to adapt the economy to climate change, and a long-term strategy until 2050 with a low level of greenhouse gas emissions.

In this context, Russia will focus on monitoring the climate and its change on its territory, on the scientific assessment of climate related risks and their neutralization, and on supporting scientific research on climate and related areas.

I think it is necessary to note that the Russian Federation fully complies with its commitments to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

Undoubtedly, our obvious resource advantage that enables us to pose and tackle ambitious tasks to limit greenhouse gas emissions is our country’s immense reserves of natural gas, the cleanest source in terms of climate impact, non-renewable energy. Today, it accounts for over half of all primary energy consumption.

At the same time, I think it necessary to note that the Russian Federation has taken, in recent years, a number of purposeful steps to reduce the negative impact on the climatic system. For example, it approved laws and regulatory acts incentivising investment in the development of renewable energy sources and higher energy efficiency; it converted to the best available technologies in industry and the energy sector, and has implemented projects to utilize associated petroleum gas.

In late 2018, the Government approved the Environment national project that included, among other things, events and programmes directed at reducing atmospheric emissions, boosting the efficiency of industrial and consumer waste management systems, promoting forest restoration, and fighting forest fires.

In this connection, I think it is necessary to once again underscore the Russian Federation’s position on the importance of conserving or increasing the absorbing capacity of forests and other ecosystems as well as the need to take it into account as much as possible, including in the process of using the Paris Agreement mechanisms.

Thank you for your attention.

December 10, 2019