Climate is not politics, you will not cheat! | Latest news The Moscow Post
24 September 2023

Climate is not politics, you will not cheat!

At first, Russia was criticized for "stuffing," now for emissions.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova answered a question from a journalist at The Moscow Post about Russian assessments of the results of the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC).

A written version of the answer was posted on the Foreign Ministry's website on November 22, and on November 23, the head of the diplomatic department, Sergei Lavrov, spoke out on this issue.

Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed the participants of a special meeting on forest management and land use at the summit of world leaders in Glasgow, recalling that about 20 percent of the world's forests are located in Russia.

Summing up the results of the event from the point of view of Russia's interests, Vladimir Putin noted at a meeting with government members on November 24 that the discussions were difficult, the problem was becoming more acute, but "the goal of the climate conference, which was held in Glasgow, was achieved, the decisions made at it are balanced and executable."

Maria Zakharova "At first we were criticized for allegedly stuffing, now for emissions"

Climate and development

Protecting the climate is a task not only for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Sergey Lavrov, speaking on November 23 at the forum of the Russian Union of Entrepreneurs and Industrialists (RSPP) "The International Agenda of Russian Business: Challenges, Risks, a Strategy for Interaction with the State," said that the results of the Glasgow summit did not satisfy everyone that "there is a desire of developed Western countries that have entered the post-industrial regime of the economy to do everything so that the rest stop polluting and developing."

Some of the problems of socio-economic development and their interaction with emission reduction tasks were discussed by The Moscow Post in a November 19th publication.

The climate agenda sets tasks for relevant departments and the business community of Russia, especially for leading companies with a noticeable "carbon footprint" in their products. Russian business was also preparing for a conference in Glasgow. In September, a meeting of the Business Council at the Russian Foreign Ministry was held, in which relevant departments, heads of business associations and companies took part.

Chaired by Sergey Lavrov. Participants spoke about the challenges to domestic business in the context of decarbonization and the transition to green energy sources, competitiveness and protection of the interests of domestic business. "It is important that climate change and environmental protection unite, not divide, the world community. We will do this without allowing unilateral steps that do not take into account the interests of other countries, "the minister emphasized then.

The dangers of green protectionism

So Sergey Lavrov called the possible consequences of the "green transition" for the Russian economy and leading Russian exporters.

The head of the Ministry of Economic Development Maxim Reshetnikov said that in Glasgow it was possible to agree on specific and acceptable mechanisms for the implementation of the Paris Agreement. In particular, market mechanisms for the exchange of carbon units between countries are being launched. Recognized and confirmed reductions or acquisitions of SO2 from climate projects can be used on the market.

Russia, along with other countries, has achieved balanced decisions on coal generation in Glasgow. From the idea of ​ ​ "early abandonment" of coal power generation, they switched to an agreement to "reduce" coal power generation, but only for those projects that do not use emission reduction technologies. This gives time to modernize coal capacity, diversify the economy and modernize the generating capacity of coal-burning regions.

In addition, an important outcome of the Conference was the adoption of the Joint Leaders Declaration on Forests and Land Management, in which my country actively participated. The document enshrines the key role of forests in the implementation of climate policy.

The conditions favorable for Russia for forest projects were agreed: for 30 years they extended the maximum terms for their implementation (from 15 to 45 years). Investors (including Russian regions) in forest management, conservation and forestry projects receive understandable and long-term conditions for investments.

The final decisions recorded more profitable decisions on fossil fuels, which reduces the threat to investment in the oil and gas sector, leaves export markets open. "We managed to secure the Russian economy, Russian exports, Russian investments and, in the end, our jobs from harsh, not always calculated decisions and other people's concepts imposed from outside," Maxim Reshetnikov emphasized at a meeting with Vladimir Putin with the Government of the Russian Federation.

Potential to "green" neighbors

The large and not yet fully assessed absorptive capacity of Russia's forests and ecosystems make our country one of the leaders in the process of global decarbonization.

The development of green technologies will stimulate Russia's export opportunities. "It is important to competently and timely take advantage of this" window of opportunity, "have your verified, scientifically reasoned position and actively consolidate it as an integral part of multilateral discussions," said Sergey Lavrov.

Clean and practically renewable nuclear power, hydropower potential, gas power generation create unique opportunities for large-scale exports of electricity and products with a reduced "carbon footprint." Such as, for example, aluminum or fertilizers, cement or steel rolled stock, building materials, agricultural products. Russia has the unique ability to combine the relatively low cost of electricity with a low "carbon footprint" of its production.

Rosatom CEO Alexei Likhachev said the Glasgow conference ended with a discussion on whether nuclear power should count in the carbon balance, taking into account the exceptionally high potential of nuclear power plants in the transition to a green economy. Russia is still the only country that has mastered industrial technology for the production and operation of fast neutron reactors.

As the chief diplomat of the European Union Josep Borrel recently formulated, "We, the peoples of the West, the EU and the USA, we are the lords of the world... but only while we control advanced technology. If we cannot dictate standards, we will lose power. "

Rosatom is confident that by the end of this decade, Russian technology may become a prominent article in Russian exports. Nuclear power plants based on these technologies meet the most stringent safety and efficiency requirements and the tasks of reducing SO2 emissions. The market for Russian nuclear technologies is significant. During the life cycle, in terms of "cleanliness," the NPP is not inferior to solar and wind power.

Helping Others

It cannot be ruled out that the concept of the "green transition," conceived by some Euro-ideologists, as well as the way (among other things) to "push" Russia rich in energy resources, will have the opposite effect. At the expense of resources and technologies, Russia gets the opportunity to purposefully work on international platforms in favor of a balanced and non-discriminatory transition to green energy.

"The balance between the interests of climate protection, environmental protection and the legitimate interests of the socio-economic development of countries at a lower level has always been the" key "of our position," said Sergey Lavrov. A number of countries, including members of the European Union, are trying to politicize the climate agenda, use it in their interests of influence and dominance.

Moscow intends to promote "transparent" rules of climate regulation and development using affordable and verified technological solutions. This has to be done in conditions of not only economic and technological, but also political competition from the West. This political competition includes the use of harmful economic and financial restrictions, prohibitions against a number of states on the use of high technologies, including for offshore work in Arctic latitudes.

The energy transition is "not a matter of relations between Russia and the West, but of global success or failure in maximizing the unification of efforts to ensure tasks in the field of combating climate change," the Russian minister added.

All from envy

Russia fulfills all its obligations under both the Paris Agreement and the FCCC, "said President Vladimir Putin, speaking at an expanded meeting of the board of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on November 18.

There is a program to increase the energy efficiency of the economy for the period until 2035. It is planned to ensure carbon neutrality no later than 2060. Vladimir Putin confirmed that the country has reached the forefront in the "green" transformation and proposed "actively counteracting the attempts of the European Union and the United States to appropriate the right to single-handedly dictate the climate agenda and form standards for themselves on this topic."

Further actions of the Government in this area will be aimed at promoting the interests of Russia on the sites of authoritative organizations (UN, G20, BRICS, APEC, EAEU) and further developing a plan for the implementation of Strategy-2050 under the leadership of Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov. On instructions from the Government, preparations for the next Conference of the Parties are already under way.

What do not do, there will be a reason

Let's go back to where we started. The Moscow Post question asked by Maria Zakharova sounded like this: "You recently commented on the statements of Biden and Obama. They criticized Russia for insufficient efforts to combat emissions. Can you expect that following the conference will appear... Russian Glasgow Outcome Assessment? Would it be interesting to know how we assess the US position and the EU position in this context? "

"What do not do, there will be a reason for criticism," said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova and joked: for many years, the Americans criticized the Russian side for allegedly stuffing by hackers, and now, "when, apparently, the agenda has already exhausted itself," they have begun to criticize for emissions.

Russia's position on the international climate agenda is consistent. It is not based on ideological charge, but on legal approaches, on which the position of the state in international affairs should be built. But taking into account new data, research results and scientific developments, new technologies and statistics, methods of adapting to climate change.

For its part, the Russian delegation has done everything possible to make the decisions of the Glasgow conference a logical continuation of the Paris Agreement, "the representative of the diplomatic department added. According to her, "our experts have made a significant contribution to the adoption of important decisions." In connection with this topic, the diplomat recalled the comment on the question asked to her, which was published on the website of the Russian Foreign Ministry on November 22.

And the Russian side believes, "added Maria Zakharova," that it is unacceptable that Western importers take protectionist actions against Russian suppliers of raw materials and products with a high "carbon footprint." In fact, they would build a kind of "green screen" on the path of Russian exports.

Recall that the head of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, Alexander Shokhin, recently presented Ms. Zakharova with the Honorary Badge of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs for defending the interests of Russian business in the international arena, on which we sincerely congratulate her!

At a conference in Glasgow the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Aleksei Overchuk, the adviser to the President, the special representative of the Russian President Ruslan Edelgeriyev, the management Roshydromet, the Ministry of Natural Resources, Minpromtorg, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Energy, the MFA, representatives of business, public associations, RUIE were a part of the Russian delegation.

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