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Russia may ratify Paris climate agreement by 2020

The final decision whether to ratify the agreement or not will be taken not earlier than in January 2019, Russia's natural resources minister says

ST. PETERSBURG, June 2. /TASS/. Russia may ratify the Paris Agreement on climate change until 2020, though the final decision will be taken not earlier than in January 2019, Russian Natural Resources Minister Sergey Donskoy told reporters during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF-2017).

"Russia plans to ratify the Paris Agreement until 2020, although the final decision whether to ratify it or not will be taken not earlier than in January 2019, bearing in mind the effects produced by the guidelines of the agreement’s implementation. This document will be put together by the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement, which will include the Russian ministerial delegation," Donskoy said.

As he put it, Russia "values most the ratification of the Paris Agreement not by the US," "but by key trade partners."

"We must first consider the climate strategies of the BRICS countries, the EU, Norway, Japan, the Republic of Korea and other countries in the area of low-carbon development. The implementation of these strategies may lead to bans on the import of products in these countries due to a high level of greenhouse gas emissions during production, which, in fact, would establish ‘carbon protectionism’," the minister noted.

The Paris Agreement was adopted on December 12, 2015, in the French capital by 195 participants, that agreed to keep the average growth in global temperatures below 2°C by 2100 compared to pre-industrial levels. On April 22, 2016, 175 countries, including Russia, Germany, India, China and the US, signed this agreement at the UN Headquarters in New York.

Under this accord, the US is obliged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions from 26% to 28% below 2005 levels by 2025. US President Donald Trump announced Thursday that he was withdrawing the US from the Paris climate accord.