WWF WELCOMES THE ACCESSION OF RUSSIA TO THE PARIS AGREEMENT
According to the decisions of the Paris Conference, weak and vulnerable countries should be given a helping hand, as they strive to adapt to the changing climate and develop their economies with a minimum increase in emissions. Russia has repeatedly emphasized its commitment to those principles and considered the ratification of the Paris Agreement.
"WWF welcomes the fact that Russia is becoming a fully legitimate participant of the Paris Agreement, - says Alexey Kokorin, director of the Climate and Energy programme at WWF-Russia. - It is an important development, showing that we are together with the rest of the world in realizing the growing issue of climate change due to human activity. Russia will have to manage a lot of things from adaptation measures to switching to more advanced low carbon technologies. Our country will get more benefits from participation in Paris Agreement projects too. New international projects will decrease risks and therefore ease attraction of investments. The delay in acceptance of the Agreement is not crucial, as there are still time until the Document will enter into force in 2020».
Effected at the Government’s behest, the accession is fully legitimate, as the Agreement has a framework nature and thus does not require any alteration of Russian laws. According to Article 20, countries can join the Paris Agreement as full participants by any legal means provided for by their legislation systems. Russia has the Federal Law on International Agreements which stipulates that an agreement can be ratified by a simple governmental decree, without involving the Parliament, if such agreement does not imply any financial obligations or changes in the law. The Paris Agreement conforms to this definition exactly.
Previously, the U.S. has already joined the Paris Agreement in the same way, because President Obama considered it was not an economic or financial agreement. For Russia, the situation is quite the same. According to the Paris Agreement, Russia is a voluntary donor supposed to support, whenever possible, the most vulnerable developing countries. What countries to help, by what means and to what extent, Russia is free to choose. Some countries are specified as compulsory donors, others as recipients of financial support. As the United States is considered a compulsory donor, it gave a pretext for Donald Trump to withdraw from the Agreement. However, as per the conditions, the U.S. is to remain its party until the end of 2020.
Turkey also has its own financial reasons to stay away. While Mexico, Chile, Argentina and Kazakhstan were included in the list of beneficiaries, Turkey, which is on the same level of economic development, is not supposed to receive any support. That’s why this country has been slow to join the Paris Agreement. Virtually all other important countries have already become the full members of the Paris Agreement, which will enter into force from 2020.
The Agreement commits all countries to adopt long-term low-emission development strategies towards 2050. Russia has been already assiduously pursuing such policies.
Photo in the preview and caption by: (c) Vladimir Sertun/WWF-Russia.