Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

Russia Likely to Soften Emissions Targets

Russia is expected to announce targets of cutting its carbon emissions to between 15 and 25 percent below 1990 levels when chief negotiator Alexander Bedritsky addresses the forum in Doha, Qatar, on Thursday.

That target, included in a draft presidential decree written by the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry, retreats from a commitment in June by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvdev at the UN Sustainable Development Conference in Rio de Janeiro to slash emissions by 25 percent.  

Bedritsky said Wednesday that Medvedev's prior statement would still "guide" Russian policy.

"I would recommend focusing on Prime Minister Medvedev's statement in Rio," he told journalists, RIA-Novosti reported.

Environmentalists say Medvedev's target already lacks ambition because emissions nose-dived with the collapse of industry following the breakup of the Soviet Union and have still not recovered.  

According to the Federal Service for Hydrometeorology, Russia emitted 2.16 billion tons of CO2-equivalent in 2009, 35.6 percent lower than 1990 levels.

Environmentalists say that if the role of Russia's vast forests as a carbon sink is taken into account, emissions are even lower, meaning the target set by the government is in reality a license to increase emissions.

Russia has joined Canada and Japan in refusing to sign up for a second implementation period of the Kyoto Protocol.

The Russian government has so far ignored growing domestic pressure from environmentalists, economists and businessmen to embrace Kyoto 2.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday blamed rich countries for global warming and said the developed world should take the lead in reducing emissions.  

"The climate change phenomenon has been caused by the industrialization of the developed world," he said on the sidelines of the conference. "It is only fair and reasonable that the developed world should bear most of the responsibility."

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more