The Layers of the Doll Exploring the Russian position for Copenhagen

Author (Person) ,
Series Title
Series Details No.46, November 2009
Publication Date 05/11/2009
ISBN 978-951-769-241-0
ISSN 1795-8059
Content Type


Russia negotiating without a clearly articulated position may lead to blocking at last minute, and collapsing the Copenhagen deal. Currently, the Russian position remains largely a 'black-box'.

At the highest level of the Russian administration there is little motivation to actively engage in the Copenhagen talks. Hence it is a challenge to foresee how Russia will act in the end-game at Copenhagen.

The current Russian position undermines the environmental integrity of the Copenhagen agreement: its target of a 10-15% reduction by 2020 will generate 'a Copenhagen surplus'. The carry-over of Russia’s surplus allowances from the first commitment period could significantly undermine developed country reduction targets. In addition, the Russian position on forest sinks accounting would lead to more loopholes, and thus, further windfall emission allowances.

Other countries need to define an acceptable minimum contribution for Russia. For example, either the Kyoto surplus must be cancelled, or its Copenhagen cap must be tightened to prevent the generation of a further surplus.

In order to involve Russia in taking decisions on the crunch issues in Copenhagen, it is necessary for high level officials, e.g. President Medvedev, to participate. Other world leaders may need to extend the invitation.

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