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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 2008. Contents. Background Russian submission for Poznan Economic argument against post-2012 commitments Political arguments

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russia and the post 2012 climate regime foreign rather than environmental policy

Russia and the Post-2012 Climate Regime:Foreign rather than Environmental Policy

Dr Anna Korppoo

The Finnish Institute of International Affairs

24 November 2008

contents
Contents
  • Background
  • Russian submission for Poznan
  • Economic argument against post-2012 commitments
  • Political arguments
  • Conclusion
russia and the kyoto deal
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
impacts of climate change not just doom and gloom
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
position for poznan russia is reluctant to commit to binding targets
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
slide9

Russian economy and GHG emissions are growing – in tandem?

  • 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%
economic growth and emissions
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
criticism of the economic growth argument
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

participation of other countries
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
russia as a global player
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
conclusion
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
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