Interview with Sergey Roginko

Sergey Roginko, Head of the Environmental and Development Group of the Institute of Europe joined RT to comment on the results on the APEC summit in Sydney.

Russia Today: Energy and climate change topped the agenda of the APEC summit. APEC member countries account for 60% of global emissions. How significant do you think the agreements reached there are?

S.R.: Actually we should understand that energy and climate change is one and the same problem. APEC countries also account for the bulk of the world’s energy consumption. Therefore the only way to address the climate change issues is to reduce energy consumption per unit of GDP. And the most important thing discussed at this forum was the reduction of average energy consumption per unit of GDP by 25% by 2030.

RT: Are we going to see this happen?

S.R.: As far as we can see from the documents and a whole array of energy initiatives that was demonstrated in these documents, we can see this happen. There will be a voluntary reduction mechanism, a peer review mechanism for progress tracking. There will be an energy standard initiative, also initiatives on biofuel, renewable energy technologies that would focus on the best practices in energy efficiencies. And the last but not least – nuclear energy will also be addressed as s low emissions technology.

RT: Do you think the results of the summit are a success?

S.R.: What is interesting about APEC countries is that they do include all major emitters of the world. Well, not all of them but many of them, including top emitters – China and the USA. Also APEC includes both developed and developing countries. And their attempt to reach consensus in Sydney was a difficult attempt. And I think there was no major success on the issue of absolute quantitative CO2 reduction worldwide.

RT: Why was there so much difficulty in reaching this consensus?

S.R.: There is a big difference in the positions of respectively developing and developed countries. Developed countries do see the great necessity of including the developing countries in the process of absolute reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The developing countries object to this position and foster the opinion that the developed countries should pay for everything. And this is the ground for the popular slogan ‘common but differentiated responsibility’.