‘Pursuit of unjustified ambitions’: Russian envoy weighs in on Glasgow-hosted COP26 summit

TASS Russian News Agency | Nov 2, 2021 at 10:57 AM

GLASGOW, November 2. /TASS/. The COP 26 UN Climate Change Conference's participants are in a quest of ambitions, which are often groundless, Russian Special Presidential Representative on Climate Issues Ruslan Edelgeriev told TASS on Tuesday.

"There is a pursuit of ambitions in Glasgow. Some of them are justified, while others are exaggerated," the presidential envoy said, noting that many of Russia's foreign partners admitted that they were taking on ambitious climate commitments without a roadmap or any scientific data, placing undue expectations on the development of new technologies. "One should not act like this, since the ongoing energy crisis was also brought about by excessive reliance on energy from renewable sources," Edelgeriev insisted.

The presidential envoy pointed out that Russia was aware of the scale of the climate issues, meanwhile, "it took on new obligations only after receiving all the necessary scientifically proven data." Nevertheless, some countries declare their readiness to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, without any proper understanding of how this can be done.

Edelgeriev also highlighted some obstacles to the recognition of nuclear energy as low-carbon, castigating the EU's carbon border adjustment mechanism, which included a climate fee on imports of aluminum, iron, steel, cement, fertilizers and electricity, as "pure protectionism."

Joint efforts

The presidential envoy stated that Russia was well-prepared for the conference, having defined goals in terms of countering climate change and laying the foundation for interacting with other countries and economic operators. Edelgeriev also mentioned that the Russian side upheld the global project on forest conservation, initiated by the UK.

As the organizers of the Glasgow summit told TASS, a joint declaration of the climate summit's leaders on forest and land use will be adopted on Tuesday. The Russian delegation confirmed that a video message from Russian President Vladimir Putin was going to be shown at the event after the signing of the document.

Expectations from COP26

According to Edelgeriev, Russia, as well as other summit participants, seeks to find common ground on the implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change. Although several previous attempts to agree on common rules have failed, Moscow intends to actively cooperate with other countries, striving to bring the positions closer.

Overall, more than 25,000 people from 196 countries are taking part in the Glasgow summit, including politicians, journalists, representatives of non-profit organizations and the business community. The UN Climate Change Conference takes stock of the five-year cycle that kicked off with the adoption of the 2015 Paris accords. The parties to the agreement are to report on their increased climate commitments, as most conference participants have already done, including Russia, which has determined to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.