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Russia and the Post-2012 Climate Regime: Foreign rather than Environmental Policy Dr Anna Korppoo The Finnish Institute of International Affairs 24 November.

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Presentation on theme: "Russia and the Post-2012 Climate Regime: Foreign rather than Environmental Policy Dr Anna Korppoo The Finnish Institute of International Affairs 24 November."— Presentation transcript:

1 Russia and the Post-2012 Climate Regime: Foreign rather than Environmental Policy Dr Anna Korppoo The Finnish Institute of International Affairs 24 November 2008

2 Contents 1)Background 2)Russian submission for Poznan 3)Economic argument against post-2012 commitments 4)Political arguments 5)Conclusion

3 1)Background

4 Russia and the Kyoto Deal Collapse of GHG emissions due to the economic recession in the early-1990s Kyoto base year 1990 – target to limit emissions to 1990 level  Surplus allowances i.e. ’hot air’ Kyoto seemed like a good deal for Russia BUT dissappointment when the US withdrew Kyoto mechanisms seem bureaucratic Since Kyoto economic situation changed a lot as large revenues from fossil fuel exports – Kyoto money seems insignificant Russian climate politics so far driven rather by economic gains than environmental concerns

5 Impacts of climate change: not just doom and gloom? Belief that not only negative – also IPCC predicts some positive impacts in the Russian territory: decreased heating, improving agricultural potential, opening sea routes, new oil and gas reserves uncovering Also negative impacts already at sight: forest fires, spreading diseases, floods, trouble for forestry industries Changes in the North may be less relevant as less population Official line to support the findings of the IPCC No public pressure and ’climate hype’ – low awareness and the lack of democracy and a civil society Sceptical views and engineering solutions by Russian scientists

6 2)Russian submission for Poznan

7 Position for Poznan: Russia is reluctant to commit to binding targets G8 -50% by 2050 – ’aspirational’, NOT basis for distribution of emitting rights Collective reduction target of 25-40% from 1990 level by 2020 ’unreasonable’ Effectiveness and fairness –national conditions and real capabilities of countries ’Legally binding’ commitments acceptable if: –NOT enforceable and sanctioned –Possible to adjust on the course of implementation –Effective incentives to fulfill Market approach: may lead to speculation Grouping of countries need updating –economic and social indicators to guide

8 3)Economic argument against post-2012 commitments

9 Emissions 27% below 1990 in 2006 Emissions grown by some 15% by 2006 since the lowest point in 1998 GHG growth 2.6% in 2006 – GDP growth 6.7% Russian economy and GHG emissions are growing – in tandem?

10 Economic growth and emissions Why emissions are growing? –Standard of living improving – power consumption up –Reintroduction of inefficient old capacity –Switch from gas to coal which price is seen as more stabile –Efficiency of economy improved due to modernisation less than expected Putin’s goal doubling GDP 2000-2010 – cutting emissions could hinder achieving Illarionov’s original argument during ratification which was disagreed by many, but now more support as emissions are growing 45% of public do not think that public money should be spent on emission reductions Stage of development of economies -thinking

11 Criticism of the economic growth argument Recent GDP growth fuelled by the high oil price – not directly leading to higher emissions Potential to improve energy efficiency – positive impact on the economy in general Development towards post-industrialised economy Recent global economic trends slowing down Russian economic growth?  Russian position could be challenged: not so difficult or costly to reduce emissions – even beneficial for the economy?  Already existing policies which can cut emissions BUT Western scientific views unlikely to be taken seriously in the Russian debate

12 4)Political arguments

13 Participation of other countries The Kyoto Protocol is not regarded as effective in Russia due to its small impact on global emissions Large emitters wanted to join, also developing countries The role of the US is important, seen as an equal partner for Russia G8 key actor to encourage Russia to join post-2012 pact - Russia could support views opposing binding targets inside G8 but difficult to break concensus G8 goal to cut 50% of emissions by 2050 labelled as ’aspirational’ Envy of the CDM early start compared to JI: Russia been unfairly treated

14 Russia as a Global Player Prestige of Russia – leadership seeking to regain status as a world power like the Soviet Union – showing muscle and independent decisions for instance with Georgia Ratification of the Kyoto Protocol was a good example – Russia wanted attention and got it Important that Russian decisions well backed by analysis as bad experiences in the early 1990s when the Soviet structures could not respond international requirements very competent way Russia’s aim to gain a role as a world power could be a way to encourage Russia to join post-2012 regime

15 5)Conclusion

16 Conclusion Post-2012 regime very different for Russia than Kyoto: unlikely to be allocated benefits only No incentive to join: Reluctant negotiation partner as no public pressure or environmental concern Likely to expect space to grow emissions, limiting economic growth politically unacceptable BUT - the Russian economic growth argumentation could be challenged – for instance BAU policies can cut emissions significantly Unlikely to disagree with the G8 but likely to team up with the other reluctant members of the group - external political pressure important Focus on Russian role as a world power and modernisation of economy rather than the environment

17 Thank you! Contact:

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