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14 Dec, 2009 14:00

Medvedev stresses “simultaneous commitments” on climate change

The world’s major greenhouse gas emitters must simultaneously make the necessary commitments, believes Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, speaking in his latest video blog entry.

President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Today I want to talk about the global problem of climate change on our planet. There are already existing arrangements in most countries to work together in this area. Incidentally, some of them have been around for quite a while, namely the Kyoto Protocol.

Russia believes that such cooperation is vital. The major economies of the world, and hence the largest greenhouse gas emitters, such as the United States, China, India, Russia, Brazil, and others, must simultaneously make the necessary commitments and strictly observe them. I would particularly like to emphasize that these must be simultaneous commitments and commitments that we all abide by together. Trying to do this on our own will be fruitless and pointless. This is a question of existence itself, and I want to reiterate that we must all be in this together.

I also think that we need to use a differentiated approach in determining the commitments of developed and developing countries: we are all in different situations. These commitments must not conflict with economic opportunities or, most importantly, the development priorities of each country. It's obvious that the young industrialized economies will be a greater drain on energy resources than the post-industrial powers that have already developed their economies.

I want to emphasize that our country is already a world leader in emissions reduction. Our role in improving the global environmental situation is also linked to the role of our forests. Our contribution should be taken into account by the international community. However, we are ready to set ourselves a new challenge.

What is it? It is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2020, taking 1990’s levels as the base year. This is a very substantial reduction. So between 1990 and 2020, Russia will reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions by more than 30 billion tons. This is a very significant contribution to the world's collaborative effort.

We can achieve this by increasing energy and environmental efficiency in our economy. In effect this will be the result of the modernization that we have already devised: the gradual introduction of energy-saving technologies and the development of renewable energy.

What do we plan to do? We plan to increase the energy efficiency of our economy by 40% by 2020. This is one of the first orders that I signed as president.

Secondly, we have already adopted a law on energy saving and improving the energy efficiency of our economy. In a separate initiative, work has already started on changing the regulatory framework in the area of energy efficiency, including the development of an appropriate set of technical regulations.

As a result, our share in this respect will be better; in particular the share of low-power industries in the energy balance.

We have decided on a step-by-step increase in the share of renewable sources in the country's energy sphere. In particular, the share of nuclear energy will be increased by 25% by 2030.

Copenhagen is currently hosting an international UN conference on climate change. And I plan to take part in it, to promote the adoption of decisions that will help coordinate the efforts of all countries – that's right, the efforts of all countries. This is critically important because the quality of life of future generations on this planet depends on the decisions that we make.