DURBAN, December 9 (Itar-Tass) — Russia hopes the Durban Climate Change Conference will bring about positive results since accord have been nearly reached on many issues, Russian president’s special envoy on climate change problems Alexander Bedritsky said on Friday.
“The Russian delegation hopes that key elements, on which the work on new international climate change agreements depends, will be agreed here in Durban,” said Bedritsky, who is in Durban, South Africa to attend the 17th session of the parties to the United Nations framework convention on climate change (UNFCCC), or the United Nations Climate Change Conference as it is often referred to. “Many countries want to see the launch of the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, but the real underlying motive was laid bare in the speech of U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who said the aim of the second commitment period was to give a signal to markets. We believe the Kyoto Protocol is not a market economy document, its goal is to bring down the burden on the climate. And from this point of view, it does not solve its tasks because it covers a maximum of 11 to 15 percent of global emissions whereas China and the United States alone account for 41 percent, and these countries are not parties to the protocol.”
“And in order to exert some pressure on them we speak in favour of a new agreement, just like Japan and Canada,” Berditsky noted. “It is quite likely that the work on a final document will not be over at this conference either. But the fact that there is accord on key provisions enspires hopes. It is necessary to approve a kind of roadmap towards a new comprehensive universal agreement. Even in Cancun a year ago, key elements of a future agreement were passed. But they need further elaboration to take into account eh role of forests in reducing greenhouse emissions. Forests are being gradually exterminated and emissions are hence growing, while the Kyoto Protocol policies aim at restoring forests. Newly planted forests absorb greenhouse gases and this absorption volume is to be deducted from overall emission volume.”
“Russia hopes that a new climate change agreement might be worded within two years,” he went on. “Even if we kick off this process in late 2012, it is quite possible to prepare and ratify the new agreement within the period from 2013 to 2015. That is why we want this roadmap to have certain time limits. Our stance coincides with that of the European Union, which also wants this document to be ready in 2015. Durban is to become a threshold, stepping over which we must begin to act.”