Russia plans to lobby for sanctions relief on state-run energy giants that invest in green projects at next month’s landmark UN climate summit, Bloomberg reported Thursday.
Ruslan Edelgeriyev, President Vladimir Putin’s climate envoy, accused Western states of double standards for urging Russia “to reduce methane leakages and yet we have Gazprom under sanctions” for the 2014 annexation of Crimea.
“Let’s take climate projects out of sanctions, so that Gazprom has access to green financing, access to technologies,” Bloomberg quoted Edelgeriyev as saying in an interview.
“These two things don’t get along, sanctions and climate,” said Edelgeriyev, who will head Russia’s delegation at the crucial COP26 summit in Glasgow.
The Oct. 31-Nov.12 COP summit, the biggest climate conference since the landmark 2015 Paris talks, is seen as a key step in setting worldwide emissions targets to stem the effects of climate change.
Putin, whose position on climate shifted recently from deep skepticism to engagement amid an increasing spate of natural disasters that have hit Russia and the rest of the world, will not fly to Glasgow for the summit.
But at the annual Valdai Club meeting in Sochi on Thursday, Putin said Russia’s delegation will “insist” that negotiators at COP take into account Russia’s opportunity to use its vast forests to offset carbon emissions.
The president also echoed Edelgeriyev’s anti-sanctions sentiment when it comes to climate change.
“Geopolitical, scientific and technical, or ideological rivalry becomes pointless if the winners will have not enough air to breathe or nothing to drink,” Putin said.
Russia is one of the world’s biggest oil and gas producers and the fourth-highest carbon emitter. The country’s Arctic regions are warming roughly three times faster than the rest of the planet.
Last week, Putin said that Russia was “aiming” for carbon neutrality by 2060.
Russia’s earlier vow to cut its emissions to 70% of 1990 levels by 2030 is considered easily achievable because of the de-industrialization the country has undergone since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.