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Russia will not fast-track ratification of Paris Agreement on climate change

Russia hasn't yet ratified the agreement as it is still to accomplish a number of steps the national legislation requires

MOSCOW, September 21. /TASS/. Russia will not artificially fast-track the ratification of the Paris Agreement on climate change just for the sake of keeping abreast of other countries, Russian presidential adviser on climate affairs, Aleksandr Bredritsky, said when asked if the Russia might accelerate this process to catchup with the United States, China and a number of other countries that have already ratified it.

He recalled that on September 21 the United Nations would see a special ceremony in which the UN Secretary-General will receive the instruments of ratification of or accession to the agreement (depending on the national legislation) from the representatives of those countries that ratified the agreement between April 22 and September 21, 2016. On the sidelines there will be a number of parallel meetings where Russian delegates will be present, but no documents will be presented, because Russia has not ratified the agreement yet.

Bedritsky said that Russia was still to accomplish a number of steps the national legislation required before the Paris Agreement could be ratified. In part, it should estimate the social and economic effects of ratification. Also, the member-countries are to draft low emission development strategies and a plan for adjustment to climate change. He promised that "Moscow was taking a very responsible attitude to drafting these documents and planning all works to implement the agreement and achieve the goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions, because these matters concern practically all branches of the economy."

"But all economic estimates and the required regulatory base are to be in place before the ratification process begins. For us this is not a political issue but a matter of responsible practical implementation of decisions being made. It makes no sense either to deliberately delay ratification or to artificially accelerate it just for the sake of being abreast of other countries," Bedritsky said.

The Paris Agreement was adopted on December 12, 2015 at the end of the Paris Conference on climate change. The 195 participants agreed to prevent a rise in the annual average temperature on the globe by more than two degrees Celcius by 2100 in contrast to the pre-industrial era. A greater rise in air temperatures might have irreversible effects on the global environment. The new document is to replace the Kyoto Protocol after 2020. It will take effect after ratification by 55 countries that account for at least 55% of the global greenhouse gas emissions.