Russia Requesting Cop26 Relief Over Green-Tech Sanctions Imposed By US And EU

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By Chris Devonshire-Ellis

The United States and European Union are going to have to re-negotiate the Russian sanctions issue if they are serious about global climate change. Sanctions placed on Russia since 2014 due to its occupation of Crimea, in addition to issues related to US competition, have impacted on Russia’s energy industry and hindered Russian investments and advances into eco-friendly energy sources. As a result, Russia plans to lobby for sanctions relief on state-run energy giants that invest in green projects at next month’s landmark UN climate summit.

Ruslan Edelgeriyev, President Vladimir Putin’s climate envoy, accused Western states of double standards for urging Russia “to reduce methane leakages and yet we have Gazprom under sanctions” for the 2014 annexation of Crimea.

“Let’s take climate projects out of sanctions, so that Gazprom has access to green financing, access to technologies, These two things don’t get along, sanctions and climate,” said Edelgeriyev, who is leading Russia’s delegation at the current COP26 summit.

Russian President Vladimir Putin stated this week that the Russian delegation will “insist” that negotiators at COP take into account Russia’s opportunity to use its vast forests to offset carbon emissions. Putin also echoed Edelgeriyev’s anti-sanctions sentiment when it comes to climate change.

“Geopolitical, scientific and technical, or ideological rivalry becomes pointless if the winners will have not enough air to breathe or nothing to drink.” Putin said.

Russia is one of the world’s biggest oil and gas producers and the fourth-highest carbon emitter. The country’s Arctic regions are warming roughly three times faster than the rest of the planet.

Russia’s earlier vow to cut its emissions to 70% of 1990 levels by 2030 is considered achievable because of the de-industrialization the country has undergone since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. It emits about 25% of the emissions of the United States and is aiming for carbon neutrality by 2060.

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