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Russia views Paris Agreement as basis for solving climate change problems — Lavrov

Russia is not postponing and delaying the ratification of the Paris Agreement, Lavrov stressed

MOSCOW, November 17. /TASS/. Moscow is not delaying the ratification of the Paris Agreement, viewing it as a reliable basis for solving climate change problems, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with Mexico’s Excelsior daily on Friday.

"First of all, it shall be understood that Russia is not postponing and delaying the ratification of the Paris Agreement," Lavrov stressed. "We view the document as a reliable basis for a long-term solution to the climate change problem."

The minister recalled that Russia took an active part in drafting the deal, and Russian President Vladimir Putin took part in a conference on climate in Paris in 2015. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Khloponin was among the first who signed the agreement in April 2016 in New York. "We officially welcomed its entering into force in November 2016," he noted.

"Russia has a responsible approach to meeting its international commitments. Now a thorough preparation for ratifying the Paris Agreement is underway," Lavrov said. In November 2016, the Russian government adopted an action plan under which the decision will be considered in the first quarter of 2019.

Russia’s contribution will be to cut greenhouse gas emission by 2030 to 70% from the basic level of 1990. "This means that during 35 years Russia will keep the emission at one level, largely compensating for the growth in emission in other countries and regions of the world," Lavrov said. "We plan to achieve this goal by introducing new energy saving technologies, increasing energy efficiency of economy, developing renewable and clean energy sources."

Besides, Moscow provides assistance to the developing countries to deal with climate change problems. "Therefore, the Russia-United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Trust Fund has a special ‘climate window.’ For 14 small island nations a multi-million project has been launched on enhancing their potential in responding to the climate change."

"We provide significant financial assistance to the Fiji presidency at the 23th Conference of parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change," he said.

The Paris Climate Agreement, which replaces the Kyoto Protocol, came into force in November 2016. A total of 195 countries signed it, 147 of which have already ratified the document. 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. Scientists believe that a more significant increase in temperatures can lead to irreversible environmental effects.