UN World Conference on Climate Change has become the most important international event of the decade. The Agreement adopted as an outcome of the conference has opened a new era of global cooperation in the area of climate change. Liubov Duyko explained the aims of the conference, climate hazards and position of the Russian Federation, in an interview for «Argumenty i Fakty» Newspaper.
- Liubov Vitalyevna, international community has already signed Kyoto Protocol governing the greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. Why then there was a need to gather the conference in the capital of France?
- It was gathered in order to develop a new instrument that would later subsitute the Kyoto Protocol. The main aim is to hold the growth of the average temperature within 2 or, if possible, 1.5 degrees Celcius until the year 2100. It is a critical point. If it becomes 4 to 6 degrees warmer, then many regions will face famine as a result of droughts, while the number of forest fires and flood will grow catastrophically. World leaders understand that. That is why 150 heads of countries attended the conference, and the document received support of 195 delegations from all over the world.
Could you explain the position of our country?
- Vladimir Putin addressed the forum on behalf of Russia. He emphasized that we have over-fulfilled our obligations under Kyoto Protocol. From 1991 till 2012 not only Russia has prevented the growth of greenhouse gas emissions, but it also has significantly reduced them. Therefore around 40 billion tons of dangerous elements has not ended up in the atmosphere. To compare, in 2012 all countries of the world have ‘thrown’ 46 billion tons. This means that Russian efforts made it possible to inhibit the global warming for almost a year!
Moreover, we are amongst the global leaders as to the rate of decrease of energy intensity of the economy. We also have some groundbreaking technologies, for example, carbon nanotubes. Using only these technologies, Russia will decrease carbon emissions by 160-180 million tons. We will see the results by the year 2030.
- A special role will be given to forests and this was also the Russian point…
- Yes, the new agreement emphasizes the role of forests as the main absorber of greenhouse gases. It is extremely important for our country that possess gigantic green resources and doing a lot for the preservation of the Lungs of the Planet. In general, the progress of clean and renewable energy resources has been a special point of discussion. There is a hope that these technologies will allow us to reach non-carbon economy, a dream for many. And still, there is already a lot that has been done. The participants traveled around the conference on green shuttles charged from… an electric socket.
- Where did the organizers take the funds for such a massive program? Some countries are very poor…
- Under the Paris agreements, developed states must annually ‘chip in together’ to the common fund for the struggle against dangerous emissions. The fund is 100 billion Dollars worth. Moreover after 2025 this amount will be increased, 'with account taken of the needs and priorities of developing counrties’. The monies will be also provided by the United States, Germany and Russia. The finances will be distributed by the UN Green Climate Foundation.
- But maybe we are ringing alarm in vain? Let it be that there will be a couple of degrees warmer than now. Why not?
- This approach is extremely dangerous. Possibly, there will be warm enough in some regions and that will make them capable to develop agriculture and to shorten the heating period. But some others will face droughts and floods. We are still unable to stop those horrendous forest fires, and this is also CO2. Therefore it is expected that the document will start up working in 2016.
States are bound to report every five years, and their compliance will be analyzed by a special working group. And although there no concrete duties in the agreement, it depends on every country what will be our plant in 20-30 years.