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Russia sees no prerequisites for revision of Paris climate pact

Russia's environment minister stressed that the deal needs the rules of its implementation to be "clearly outlined"

KATOWICE /Poland/, December 3. /TASS/. Russia currently sees no need to revise the Paris Agreement on climate change, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Dmitry Kobylkin, who heads the Russian delegation at the UN Katowice Climate Change Conference, told TASS.

"I don’t think that now is the time to revise the Paris Agreement. There are currently no prerequisites for it," he stated.

"In general, we can only speak about the strengthening of national goals aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions. But there aren’t such prerequisites yet," the minister stressed.

An idea that the Paris Agreement should be supplemented with new commitments has been articulated by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres a few days ahead of the forum in Katowice. According to him, the commitments set by the agreement are not sufficient because even given the implementation of the pact, global temperatures will rise more than expected by the end of the century, meaning the world needs stronger commitments.

The Russian minister also stressed that the country will be able to start considering the issue on ratifying the Paris agreement to combat climate change after the rules of its implementation are clearly outlined."To ratify the agreement, we need to clearly understand the rules of the game. We cannot allow a negative impact of the Paris agreement on the Russian economy. It’s vital to find a middle ground between the companies, which seek to increase their production capacity, and the demands made in connection with the Paris agreement’s implementation," said Kobylkin, who heads Russia’s delegation at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Poland’s Katowice

According to Kobylkin, "everyone should understand that this effort is impossible without Russia, its forests and green territories." "Not only forests, but also tundra and bogs consume CO2. That’s the entire territory of our country, the lungs of the planet," he noted.

Russia is already investing large funds in green technologies, although the Paris deal has not yet become effective. "Our national project Ecology is to the tune of 3 trillion rubles ($45 bln) in non-budget funds, this means that companies will invest funds to improve Russia’s ecology," he stressed.

The UN Climate Change Conference with participation of roughly 30,000 representatives from nearly 200 countries kicked off on Sunday. The 24th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 24), the 14th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 14), and the Conference of Signatories to the Paris Agreement (CMA 1) will be held as part of the forum.

The Paris Climate Agreement entered into force in November 2016. The aim of the agreement is to prevent a rise in the average temperature on the planet by more than two degrees Celsius compared to the pre-industrial area by 2100. Last year President Donald Trump announced that he would withdraw the US from the Paris climate accord.