Barents Observer post about Russian exploration of Arctic. https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/arctic-industry-and-energy/2018/12/russia-presents-grandiose-5-year-plan-arctic
From my nice relatively uninformed cosy British seat this looks terrible environmentally whilst on the other side – if they don’t do it, someone else will which is equally terrible and even worse from an international security perspective.
I don’t believe in climate change denial caused by fossil fuels in a STEM rich country who are also being already affected by it but with economic dependencies, I wouldn’t expect them to be shouting loudly from the rooftops about it or welcoming a report that suggests self-annihilation. Would you in the same position?
Any scientific evidence from Russia about the Arctic in particular deserves international consideration and critique where applicable. I don’t know how much that is happening.
And re security – an article about “Why the New Arctic cold war is a dangerous myth”
Expecting certain governments to magically stop fossil fuel production, especially one under unnecessary economic sanctions is unrealistic.
Personally instead of immediate fossil fuel divestment, I think a UN specialist scientific and economic Commission could specifically look at countries where fossil fuel dependencies and interdependencies obscure innovative thinking about alternative energies and ways of capturing, storing and distribution if we are going to reach the 1.5C target by 2020. Having grand scientific challenges with funded prizes such as great discoveries in the past may help. A commission if wanted must investigate and act quickly because poorer nations do not have time.
Warming will go by the rules
The UN conference was unable to agree on the modalities of dealing with it.
Saturday night in Katowice ended the UN conference on climate change. The results of the two-week session adopted the guide on adaptation to climate change and a set of rules the implementation of the agreement — but they describe only the reporting countries on the implementation of commitments, climate measures and costs. Agree about the economic mechanisms, and to convince countries to take enhanced commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions UN delegates are unable.
The most important achievement of the UN conference on climate in Katowice was the approval of the rules of the Paris agreement and guidance on adaptation to climate change. Rules determine how countries should report on measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the actions of adaptation, allocation of funds and their spending — will have to do it every five years, in 2023 and 2028 respectively. “The rules define the procedure and the reporting structure, monitoring the global situation, however, the action of the rules does not prescribe,” says the participant of the conference, the Director of the program “Climate and energy” WWF Russia Alexei Kokorin.
Success in the extension of country commitments the conference has not reached. Despite data on the growth of greenhouse gas emissions in the world in 2017 (after three years of stabilization) and a poor prognosis for 2018, plans to increase the obligations stated only Canada, several EU countries and Ukraine. Current voluntary commitments by countries and their measures of low-carbon development output the world to increase global temperature more than 3 ° C by the end of the century. To keep warming to within 2 º C, it is necessary to increase the obligations three times, and to limit to 1.5 ° C — five times, according to the report of experts of the UN Programme on the environment. New applications on a voluntary commitment, however, is only expected in September 2019 at the climate summit in new York will be hosted personally by the UN Secretary-General antónio Guterres.
The delegation of the Russian Federation (until Russia agreement not ratified) at the UN conference for the first time headed the new special presidential envoy for climate Ruslan Edelgeriev, who succeeded Alexander Bedritsky. Mr. Edelgeriev confirmed that Russia was preparing to ratify — is working on the concept of state regulation of greenhouse gas emissions (see “Kommersant” on 4 December), long-term low-carbon development strategy and the plan of adjustment of the economy to climate change.
The Ministry has dispatched on the coordination in departments the new version of the draft law on the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions
Support during conference received the climate funds — Germany and Japan will allocate them for $1.5 billion, France, Finland and Norway confirmed that ready to ensure the operation of the Green climate Fund in the years 2020-2023. The world Bank announced that in five years will be allocated to climate projects $200 billion and will begin financing of projects of adaptation to climate change. However, the requirements of countries to access these funds has caused conflicts, tightening the end of the conference on the day. The demands for Brazil’s access to money has a new mechanism of sustainable development did not give the parties to agree on the economy of his work (see reference) — the solution to this issue is postponed for a year, and instead of Brazil, the UN conference will take Chile.
Not so developed, to refuse money
Access to funds climate funds triggered a series of conflicts, tightening the end of the UN conference for the whole day. So, the Turkish delegation insisted on leaving the group of countries with developed and transition economies due to the unavailability of her funds international climate funds the United Nations (for the same reason Turkey will not ratify the agreement itself). The same problem at the conference spoke the representatives of Belarus. Note that Russia because of sanctions is also experiencing difficulties with access to international green financing (primarily funds of the international development banks and Global environment facility), which is a serious obstacle to decarbonizing the economy, said the representative of “Business Russia” and “Russian partnership for climate protection,” Oleg Pluzhnikov.
The second conflict was also financial: the delegation of Brazil insisted to allow access to a new market mechanism of the SS (the steady development mechanism) projects launched during the Kyoto Protocol (then most of these green funds received Brazil, China and India). The firm position of Brazil not given to harmonize the rules of operation of market mechanisms — the question was postponed for a year. Also, the country refused to host the UN conference on climate in December 2019 — it was moved to Chile. However, such contradictions have already become traditional for climate negotiations: emerging economies require differentiated approach depending on the level of development and achieve the mandatory inclusion of financial assistance itself in voluntary commitments by developed countries under the Paris agreement.
Angelina Davydova, Katowice, Poland