196 states have signed Paris Climate Agreement on 12 December 2015. Previous articles covered the outcomes of the new document in the global scale. Now we are moving to Russia. In this regard we asked the leading experts to comment on the role of Paris agreement for our country.
Alexey Kokorin, «Climate and energy» program manager, WWF Russia:
Taking part in Paris agreement is like taking part in the United Nations. You can`t ignore this. But we should admit that the agreement is less meaningful for Russia rather than for two other groups of countries – the main donors and those who accept financial help – where it does make a great figure.
The new sustainable development mechanism is indeed a nice impetus. Such mechanism is implied for those businesses who want to gain acknowledgment and encouragement apart from material benefits, and it is very good.
Paris agreement stimulates Russia to work in three directions: caring for the forest, adaptation measures reporting and development of strategy which helps cut emissions according to the 2 degree target.
Anton Galenovich, Ecocom vice-president, member of Ministry of Economic Development working group on environmental protection and GHG emissions regulations
The agreement provides several key points for climate policy. First, the document urges to set an emissions reduction target. Second, it is very important to achieve a long-term balance between emissions and sinks. Third, it is high time the government approved such initiatives. Pilot projects can already been launched.
How Russia is planning to cut emissions?
There are three positions on this topic presented by Ministry of Economic Development, Ministry of Natural Resources and by so-called fuel lobby which doesn`t want any regulation at all and suggests fighting climate change by building powerful coal heat electric generation plant. I would rather prefer position of Ministry of Natural Resources, it is rational. Unfortunately, government`s position has not been announced yet.
George Safonov, National Research University Higher School of economics.
Experts highlight that Paris agreement is an important framework document which sets the common movement towards the global goal. Shifting to low-carbon economy wouldn`t be that ambitious and technologies implementation could be more limited if the agreement hadn`t been signed.
This provides a great guide for business which is now getting involved in the carbon markets creation and a good sign for investors who care about the risks. This is also a sign for those investors who prefer less risky assets and mind environmental and social responsibility and their carbon footprint.
What is there in the agreement? First of all, there are political frameworks. There is also a necessity to develop national emission reduction strategy and restructure the economy. There are no inner impetuses without the agreement. If Russia continues to use fossil fuels while developed countries will actively implement low carbon strategies into national policies, we will simply become uncompetitive. What is important, the agreement suggests help developing countries. It also implies low-carbon strategy development in order to achieve INDC.
Anton Chupilko, Member of Board, Russian Carbon Fund
Paris agreement is about competitiveness and division of spheres of influence of the future economy. The country sets itself up for isolation, technological backwardness and fulfilling obligations by lowering the living standards and population in case of not taking part in the agreement realization. Therefore, we should make a sober estimate of the commitments made in order to access capital markets and the consequences for internal production and prosperity.
In the course of the Russian Carbon Fund`s journey to Paris the delegates held several negotiations and meeting with the leaders of innovations and postindustrial economy who are planning to make a technology breakthrough this year. Unilever, for example, not only shifts to zero-waste production creating cyclical economy, but also becomes the biggest reforestation investor. Moreover, Google will become one of the leading energy giants next year, bringing some more gigavatts of renewable energy into operation.