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updated 8:13 AM UTC, Apr 21, 2017

President Vladimir Putin's Address at the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

1922

Vladimir Putin took part in the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the 11th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP).

The UN Climate Conference is taking place in Paris from November 30 to December 11. The conference aims to adopt a new multilateral agreement on fighting climate change for the period after 2020, to succeed the Kyoto Protocol.

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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Secretary-General, President Hollande, heads of state and government, ladies and gentlemen,

It is a pleasure to have this opportunity to address such a representative conference.

Climate change is one of the most serious challenges humanity faces today. Hurricanes, floods, droughts and other extreme weather phenomena caused by global warming are causing ever-greater economic losses and destroying our familiar and traditional environment. The quality of life of everyone on this planet, economic growth and sustainable social development of entire regions depend on our ability to resolve the climate problem.

Russia is taking active measures to address global warming. Our country is now one of the world leaders for the rate at which we are reducing our economy’s energy consumption – by 33.4 percent from 2000–2012. Through implementation of our programme Energy Efficiency and Energy Sector Development, we expect to be able to reduce the economy’s energy intensity by a further 13.5 percent by 2020.

We have more than fulfilled our obligations under the Kyoto Protocol: from 1991 to 2012, not only did Russia have no increase in greenhouse gas emissions; it substantially reduced its emissions over this time. This has saved the equivalent of around 40 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide gas from entering the atmosphere. For comparison, let me tell you, colleagues, that total emissions by all countries in 2012 came to 46 billion tonnes. In other words, Russia’s efforts have made it possible to slow down global warming by nearly a year.

Our economic modernisation efforts and introduction of environmentally friendly and energy-saving technology made it possible for us to reduce substantially our greenhouse gas emissions. Over this same time, Russia’s GDP nearly doubled. This shows that it is entirely possible to put the focus on economic growth while at the same time looking after the environment.

We consider it of fundamental importance that the new climate agreement should be based on the principles of the UN Framework Convention, be legally binding, and involve both developed and developing countries. Our position is that this should be a comprehensive, effective and equal agreement. We support the new agreement’s long-term goal: to keep global warming within an increase of two degrees Celsius to the end of this century.

Russia will continue to contribute to the common effort to prevent global warming. By 2030, we plan to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 70 percent of the 1990 base level. We will achieve this through measures that include use of breakthrough energy-saving solutions and new nanotechnology. For example, Russia has developed technology for using carbon nanotube based additives. Experts estimate that use of this technology in Russia alone will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 160–180 million tonnes by 2030. Of course, we are open for reciprocal exchange of these kinds of developments.

The new agreement should reflect in its provisions the important part that forests play as the main absorber of greenhouse gases. This is particularly important for Russia, which has immense forest resources and does much to preserve the planet’s ‘lungs’.

It is of principle importance to support developing countries’ efforts to reduce harmful emissions. Russia will provide financial and other assistance to these countries, using the United Nations’ relevant mechanisms.

Another important point: in my speech at the 70th session of the UN General Assembly, I said that we must take a comprehensive approach to the climate change problem. In this respect, I want to confirm Russia’s proposal to host a scientific forum under the aegis of the UN to discuss not just climate change, but also issues concerning depletion of natural resources and degradation of the human habitat.

Ladies and gentlemen, we hope that through our common efforts, we will succeed in reaching a new climate agreement to succeed the Kyoto Protocol and serve the interests of our countries and peoples after 2020.

 Thank you for your attention.

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